School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Chris Haywood

Reader in Critical Masculinity Studies



Chris Haywood is a Reader in Critical Masculinity Studies. He has been Director of Research, Director of Teaching and Learning and Director of Postgraduate Studies. His main research interests focus on exploring the limits of theoretical and conceptual frameworks to explain and understand men and masculinities. He is currently working on examining how men negotiate different dating practices in the areas of speed dating, online dating, holiday romance, anonymous sex and mobile romance. Alongside this, he is also developing research in the field of men, risk and sexual health. Alongside this , his research interests include cultural analyses of schooling and education, with an emphasis on the interplay between gender, generation and 'Race' /ethnicity. A key part of this work involves exploring the interplay between the institutionally-led discursive formation of identity categories and how those discourses are lived out. He has also been involved in a range of other projects that include gender and disability, masculinity and branding and Irish men's subjectivities. 

Google scholar: Click here.


Men Masculinity and Dating

Contemporary dating practices, such as online dating, speed dating and mobile romance are emerging alongside more traditional dating practices, such as family and friend introductions, meetings in bars and clubs and encounters in everyday social life. Although studies are beginning to identify the transformational potential of these contemporary dating practices for women, Lesbian and Gay communities and young people (see for example, Harcourt, 2005; Gomez, 2010; Bauermeister et al., 2012), there is relatively less research that explores how heterosexual men are responding to these changes. This project responds to the need for research that provides more empirically grounded data on heterosexual men’s identities and subjectivities (Hockey et al, 2007; Mooney-Somers and Ussher, 2010).At present, we remain highly dependent upon media narratives that offer contradictory accounts of men’s responses to contemporary dating practices. On one hand, such narratives are claiming that that new forms of dating are providing men with the opportunity to be more caring and sensitive (Hilton, 2011; Burke, 2012). On the other, such accounts are suggesting that there is a ‘menaissance’ – a cultural moment where ‘post-sensitive’ men are responding to change by drawing upon traditional masculine tropes such as emotional stoicism and toughness (Haddow, 2010; Fitzgerald, 2012). Furthermore, despite the increasing availability of dating advice in magazines and on television, radio and the internet, very little guidance and support is available for heterosexual men to help them navigate the social, emotional, health and physical risks associated with contemporary dating practices. This project responds to a current absence in the field to explain the relationships between, men, masculinity and dating.


High-Risk Sexual Practices in Hard to Reach Places: Exploring the role of masculinity in heterosexual encounters

Over the past ten years, the UK and Ireland have witnessed increased levels of sexual infection transmission between men and women. In the UK, one of the fastest growing areas of transmission has been men and women between 45-65. Despite decades of sexual health campaigns, information and education, high-risk sexual practices remain a key public concern. This project aims to explore the dynamics of high-risk sexual practices within publicly identified heterosexual men. More specifically, the project explores different contexts for sexual encounters between men and women that include dogging, hooking-up, online sex-seeking, sex clubs, non-monogamous encounters.  Of significance, how masculinity operates in these encounters? For example, how is unsafe sex aligned with notions of masculine risk-taking? What does safe sex mean to men engaging in group sex? What role does masculine performance play in relation to women’s desires? Through a combination of quantitative data collection, ethnographies and interviews, this project aims to address these questions to help develop strategies to support and enhance public health interventions.


Undergraduate Teaching

In the past, I have led modules on Social Research Methods, Contemporary Social Issues and Advanced Social and Cultural Theory. At present, I lead on:   


MCH 2071 Sex, Sexuality and Desire


MCH 3073 & MCH 3072 Research Dissertation


Postgraduate Teaching

I contribute to the following modules: 


M.A Media Analysis 


M.A Methodologies


I also supervise 5 Masters students each year. 


Postgraduate Research Students 

Lina Khoulani

Tingting LI

Norah Altuwayjiri

Gulbigash Omarova

Manoj Wickrama Waduralalage

Quynh Tran