IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Stigma and identity research: insights when studying LGBTQ+ and other stigmatised populations

28 May 2024, 1:15 pm–2:15 pm

Blurred colourful crowd of people. Bits and splits / Adobe Stock.

Three PhD students present progress from their doctoral work with the Thomas Coram Research Unit, presenting findings on three LGBTQ+ and Queer Studies projects.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL students






Alison Lamont


55-59 Gordon Square

The three presentations will surface epistemological reflections and empirical insights when studying LGBTQ+ and other stigmatised populations.

Diego Castro Monreal: "Exploring the correlates of internalised stigma across multiple marginalised groups"

Internalised stigma among marginalised groups is associated with negative health and wellbeing outcomes, however previous research has not focused on the multiple correlates that can operate as antecedents of this phenomenon. As a first step into this problem and using data from a survey completed by 730 emerging adults in Chile, Diego’s presentation explores the association of internalised stigma and experiencing discrimination, social support, and coping strategies, across different marginalised populations (including LGB, indigenous, higher-body weight, and working-class people). Although there is initial evidence highlighting the role of experiencing discrimination and coping strategies, results indicate that mutability operates as a group difference characteristic strongly linked with higher levels of internalised stigma.  

Kate Luxion: "Why mixed methods? The role of critical realism in researching queer reproduction"

In reproductive health spaces, the majority of methodologies are rooted in both positivism and cisheteronormativity. Additionally, quantitative and qualitative methods tend to be siloed to focus on either biomedical data or lived experiences respectively. These separations are often justified due to the layers of processes and assumptions of quantitative and qualitative methods separately; making this as a necessity to link past and present knowledge generation due to familiarity and expectations within disciplines. For queer methods, this is further highlighted in the consistent insistence of queer research as solely a niche method in biomedical research rather than acknowledging the need for methodological awareness, both biologically and psychosocially, to account for the diversity in maternity service users within research as well. Using a biopsychosocial project, the Legacies and Futures study conducted by Kate Luxion, this presentation examines the epistemological and ontological tensions present while positing a way forward towards interdisciplinary mixed methods by discussing the solutions available through taking a critical realist approach. 

Ellen Davenport-Pleasance: "How Do Bi+ Mothers Narrate Their Experiences of Motherhood? : A Narrative Analysis of Timeline Interviews with Bisexual+ Mothers"

In light of the lack of research on bisexual+ parenthood (Manley & Ross, 2020) and a specific lack of narrative research into this topic, the qualitative aspect of Ellen’s PhD aimed to investigate how bi+ mothers narrate their experiences of bi+ motherhood. During this presentation, Ellen will discuss preliminary findings from this qualitative part of her mixed-methods study, which involved timeline interviews with 21 bi+ mothers. The majority of the mothers (76.19%, n = 16) were cisgender women, lived in the UK (57.14%, n = 12), had two children (52.38%, n = 11), and were in a monogamous relationship with a man (76.19%, n = 16). Following transcription and familiarization with the data, narrative analysis was conducted, drawing on Minority Stress Theory. This presentation will discuss the preliminary findings, in relation to how bi+ mothers in this study used various narrative strategies to position themselves as good mothers, and their families as “doing well”, such as downplaying their experiences of discrimination.  

This event will be of interest to researchers looking at LGBTQ+ relationships, inclusive social science methods, social psychology, and minority stress theory.

Related links

About the Speakers

Diego Castro Monreal

Diego (he/him) is a social psychology researcher from Santiago, Chile. Currently, he is completing his PhD at the UCL Social Research Institute. His research interests are around prejudice, discrimination, and violence against stigmatised groups. His doctoral research project aims to understand the psychosocial mechanisms by which stigmatised people internalise prejudice and self-devaluing beliefs. He has a Master's degree in gender studies with a specialisation in social sciences. Diego has worked in social and political psychology research, including projects about sexual violence, intergroup relationships, and participation in social movements.

Kate Luxion

Kate Luxion (they/them) MFA, MPH, LCCE, FHEA is a non-binary researcher who has trained as both a conceptual artist and a public health researcher, both of which focus on themes of parenthood, identity, and sexual and reproductive health. Their PhD study, situated within 14 NHS hospital Trusts, focuses on understanding the roles of resilience and vulnerability within pregnancy and birth outcomes, integrating mixed methods primary data collection with patient health records data. Additional experiences include working within the spaces of childbirth education and lactation, as well as other areas that fall within the umbrella of reproductive justice. Aside from completing their PhD at the UCL Social Research Institute, Kate is presently serving in the role of Research Fellow in Creative Global Health the Arts and Sciences department at UCL for the Alcohol Co-Design and Community Engagement project based out of Lalitpur Nepal.

Ellen Davenport-Pleasance

Ellen Davenport-Pleasance (she/her) is a third year Social Science PhD candidate at TCRU, UCL Social Research Institute. She has a BA in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, and an MPhil in Psychology from the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include new family forms, parenthood, child development, bisexuality, and relationships, and she has previously published work about how bisexual+ mothers come out to their children. Her doctoral research project uses a mixed-methods approach to explore the experiences, relationships, and well-being of bisexual+ mothers and their children. Theoretically, Ellen’s work is grounded in Minority Stress Theory, focusing on the links between experiences of minority stress and health outcomes, and Family Systems Theory, concentrating on the inter-connected nature of family relationships.