What is this research project about?

This project is about changes in laws and policies related to gender, sexualities, and/or abortion. This may include, for example, same sex marriage; gender recognition; pride celebrations; gender-neutral spaces, access to abortion etc. We are trying to understand how people with many different views can continue to live together and share everyday spaces like workplaces, streets, libraries, and schools. We are carrying out the research in Ireland, Great Britain and Canada. 

In the first phase of the research, we carried out 161 interviews and we collected 973 complete questionnaires with people who had concerns or objections about the laws, policies, or social changes we are interested in. 

In the second phase of the research, we are holding discussion groups and artist-led workshops to bring together people with a range of different views on gender, sexualities and/or abortion. These activities will help us to learn and understand how we can live together even when we do not agree. There are two activities that you can take part in. One is a discussion group with others who hold different positions to you, the other is working with an artist, alongside others who hold different positions to you, to create a work of art connected to the research themes.

Who can take part in discussion groups and workshops?

Anybody with an interest or position on the topic of gender, sexualities and/or abortion can take part in workshops, if they agree to the guidelines. Because the workshops are small, not everybody who wants to take part will be able to. 

Participants must agree to keep one another’s names and personal information private. They must agree to treat everybody with respect. This means respecting that people hold different views, and using people’s preferred terms. Participants need to know that the workshops are not for debating or changing other people’s minds: they are for learning to live with difference.

What will happen in the discussion groups and workshops?

There are two research activities that you can take part in. One is a discussion with others who hold different positions to you, the other is working with an artist to create a work of art connected to the research themes. You can join in one or both of these workshops and you can tell us which one you want to do in the first phone call that we have with you. We will provide food and refreshments during the workshop. If it costs you money to travel to the workshop, the research team will pay the costs, so long as you contact us in advance to organise it.

What will happen to my contribution in the discussion groups and/or workshops?

After the workshops, the researchers will collect all of the data, including audio recordings, discussion transcripts (written recordings of everything that people say); pictures of notes made by the group; photographs; videos; and any art the group makes in the artist-led workshop. The researchers will use the data for things like academic writing, conference presentations, press releases, blogs and exhibitions. 

The data is carefully protected at all times in the research project. You can read our privacy policy here, this gives full details on how we store and use the information you provide.

Will people know I was involved in the research activities?

The other people in the discussion group or artist-led workshop you attend will know your name (if you choose to share it) and whatever other information you share about yourself. We ask everybody at the event to keep each other’s personal details private afterwards. After the event, we will only use your name if you ask us to in your consent form. If you ask us to use your name, we will include your first name in research outputs, for example in conference presentations, journal articles, or book chapters. For artist-led workshops, we will ask for your permission to use photos or videos that you appear in. You can ask us to blur out your face if you prefer on your consent form. 

Even with these guidelines, sometimes people who know you could work out that you were involved in the research from quotes or examples of what you said, because of things that are very unique to you, such as phrases that you often use or stories that you tell. 

You can read our privacy policy here, this gives full details on how we store and use the information you provide.

I completed a questionnaire or an interview: what will happen to my answers?

The questionnaire is now closed and we are no longer doing interviews.  This information is for those who participated in those.  All the data is now processed so it is no longer possible to withdraw interview or questionnaire data. This website collected the answers to the questionnaire, plus any additional comments or feedback that people choose to provide. When people took part in interviews, their answers were audio-recorded and transcribed. This is called ‘research data’. 

We are using your answers to the questionnaire and in interviews to create findings that we are reporting in different ways. If you gave us permission, we may use quotations (exactly what you said) from your interview or questionnaire to illustrate the points that we are making. We might also count the number of people who said a particular word or phrase. Your answers are helping to provide insight into how legislative, political or social changes in relation to sexualities and sex/gender affect people. They are part of a database which will be used to understand how society has transformed and how those who do not agree with changes to sexual and gender rights experience this.  Please see the privacy policy for full details on how we will store and use the information that you provide.

What happens to my personal information if I take part in the research (interview/ questionnaire or discussion groups and/ or workshops)?

If you filled in a questionnaire, this website will also have recorded your email address if you chose to provide it, and your IP address. If you participated in an interview, a discussion group or a workshop, the researchers asked for your name and email address and possibly also your phone number. This information is called personal data.

Personal data are separated from research data such as questionnaire responses, interview responses, group discussions and workshop data. If you choose to be named, then your first name only will be kept with your research data. When personal details have been separated, your responses and contributions will be analysed by the research team.

Do I have to take part?

No, and nobody should make you do so. Your participation in this research is voluntary. 

You are free to leave the discussion groups and/ or workshops at any time at all, and you don’t have to explain your reasons to anybody. If you change your mind, you can ask us to remove the words that you said during the activities from our written record (transcript). We probably can’t remove your contribution from the art created during the artist-led workshop because the art work will be a group effort. But we will make an effort to blur your face from any photos or videos if you ask us to.

How can I find out what happens in this project?

We share occasional updates from the research project here on our website and in our newsletter: this includes conference presentations, academic publications and media coverage. You can sign up for these emailed newsletters which give updates on the project progress, opportunities to get involved and information about findings and relevant publications. We will email you once every two to three months.

Is this project affiliated with any religious groups, organisations, or sects?


Is this project affiliated with any political institutions, organisations, or parties?


Is this project affiliated with a university?

Yes, the project is affiliated with the University College Dublin (Ireland) and Brock University (Canada).

How is this project funded?

Funding for this project was provided by the European Research Council. Project name: BeyondOpposition: Opposing Sexual and Gender Rights and Equalities: Transforming Everyday Spaces. Funding Number: 817897.

Still have some questions?

If you have any questions about the research, you can contact Professor Kath Browne at School of Geography, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. Her telephone number is +353 1 7168134 and her email address is kath.browne@ucd.ie.

What if I have a complaint?

If you are unhappy about something, we would like to hear about it and see if we can help.  Please contact us on beyondopposition@ucd.ie.

If, during your participation in this study, you feel the information and guidelines that you were given have been neglected or disregarded in any way, or if you are unhappy about your experience of the research process, please contact the Secretary of the University College Dublin Ethics Committee at research.ethics@ucd.ie.

Who is your Data Protection Controller/Officer?

The joint Data Controllers for this research project are University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland, and Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada.

A data protection officer is responsible for overseeing a company’s data protection strategy and ensuring compliance with GDPR. University College Dublin’s Data Protection officer can be contacted at data.protection@ucd.ie or gdpr@ucd.ie

University College Dublin Data Privacy policies can be found at http://www.ucd.ie/gdpr/policiesprocedures/.