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Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology  


I am an activist, researcher, and campaigner working on violence against women and girls. I come from a practice-based background in the specialist sexual violence sector, and this informs my academic work which focuses on drawing together philosophy, specifically phenomenology, with empirical research on violence against women and girls. Most recently, I've been working on a project on women's lived experience of mainstream online pornography.

I'm particularly interested in feminist methodologies and ways of disseminating research beyond the academy, including through the development of lesson plans for young people and creative means such as theatre. I am a regular media commentator on sexual violence and harassment and have been an expert advisor to Government including to the Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into Public Sexual Harassment, and the Department for Education in the development of the new RSHE curriculum. 

  • 2015-19: Pornography, Phenomenology and Embodiment (Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship)
Research Interests

Sexual violence, Existential phenomenology, Simone de Beauvoir, Female embodiment, Public sexual harassment / men's intrusive practices, Lived experience of pornography.

Research interests

  • Sexual Violence
  • Existential phenomenology
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Female embodiment
  • Lived experience of pornography
  • Sexual harassment

Research groups

  • Violence and Abuse

Awarded Grants

  • 2016: Phenomenology, Pornography and Women's Embodiment(£88360.00 from The Leverhulme Trust)

Esteem Indicators

  • 2018: Special Advisor - Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces:
  • 2017: Advisory Committee of Transnational Girlhoods: Invited member of advisory comittee for new book series, Transnational Girlhoods, published by Berghahn Press.

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Sociology: Street harassment
  • Gender and law: Sexual violence
  • Sociology: Pornography


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article


Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Vera-Gray, F. (2018). What is the "right" amount of panic for women in public? Discover Society
  • Vera-Gray, F. (2017). Sexual harassment: It's all part of growing up. The Conversation
  • Vera-Gray, F. (2017). 100 Women: The 'right amount' of panic for women in public. BBC World
  • Fileborn, B. & Vera-Gray, F. (2016). Trump and tram reactions show social media’s complex role in responding to sexual harassment. The Conversation
  • Vera-Gray, F. (2016). Men's intrusion: rethinking street harassment. Open Democracy 50:50
  • Vera-Gray, F. (2016). The hidden work of being a woman in public. The F-Word
  • Vera-Gray, F. (2016). Online Pornography: Can porn be good for us? The Economist
  • Vera-Gray, F. (2016). Have you ever wondered how much energy you put in to avoid being assaulted? It may shock you. The Conversation
  • Vera-Gray, F. (2016). Porn: Our children are obsessed, but not for the reasons you think. The Telegraph
  • Vera-Gray, F. (2015). Britain's rape crisis: Why won't the Government guarantee support for survivors? The Telegraph

Other (Print)