Lynne Cairns

PhD Researcher

University of Durham


The motivation for my PhD stems from my experience of over twenty years of Social Work practice. My PhD study, supported by ESRC and supervised by Professor Simon Hackett and Dr Josie Phillips (Durham), will develop understanding of the social contexts of young men who have displayed Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) to better understand how their behaviours are shaped sociologically and contextually. Looking beyond individual characteristics, which has been the dominant focus of research to date, I aim to understand how the interplay within and between social contexts enhances risk and protective processes in the lives of boys and young men. Utilising principles of Participatory Action Research (PAR), young men who have in the past been denied a voice in social research will be actively involved in the co-production of new knowledge.

I am collaborating with Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (SVRU) to strengthen engagement and participation with young men as research partners with ‘expertise through experience’ and maximise impact given the Scottish Government’s recent call for social change on the issue of HSB. I hope to contribute to the development of contextually sensitive preventative strategies to reduce sexual violence by young people.


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University of Durham

University of Durham
Department of Sociology and Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse CViRA
Stockton Road

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