Dr Jessica Simpson

Dr Jessica Simpson BA (Hons), MA, PhD

Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Jessica Simpson is a Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr Simpson obtained her PhD in Sociology from City, University of London in 2020, where she also taught as a Visiting Lecturer and was part of the Gender and Sexualities Research Centre’s management team. Her doctoral thesis was a longitudinal and comparative study following students working in the sex industry and mainstream employment through Higher Education and into the graduate labour market in the UK. Before joining Greenwich, Jessica also taught in the Sociology Department at the London School of Economics as a Guest Lecturer.

Responsibilities within the university

  • Lecturer in Sociology
  • Undergraduate Tutor


Member of the British Sociological Association (BSA)

Research / Scholarly interests

Jessica’s research interests lie in the reproduction of intersectional oppressions, specically in Higher Education and the labour markets; sex work, stigma and social exclusion; feminist and queer research methologies. Jessica welcomes enquiries from prospective PhD students whose research broadly fit within these categories.

Key funded projects

(2015-2019) Poles apart? A comparative analysis of female university students and graduates working in the UK stripping and hospitality industries – School of Arts and Social Sciences Studentship (SASS) City, University of London (£66,720)

Media activity

Simpson, J (2021) ‘Women’s Safety: Sexual Harassment, Violence, and Unwanted Behaviour and Attention’, GSRC, https://blogs.city.ac.uk/gsrc/2021/05/13/womens-safety-sexual-harassment-violence-and-unwanted-behaviour-and-attention-leeds-becket-panel-event-with-dr-jessica-simpson/

Grove, J (2021) ‘Whorephobia’ blocking research into student sex work’: Sociologist Jessica Simpson says research on student erotic dancers was hampered by obstructive universities and students’ unions, Times Higher Education, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/whorephobia-blocking-research-student-sex-work-scholar

Recent publications

Journal Articles

Simpson, J. (2021) Whorephobia and reputation management in Higher Education: A reflexive account of researching cis-women’s experiences of stripping while at university, Higher Education, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-021-00751-2

Simpson, J. and Smith, C. (2020) Students, Sex Work and Negotiations of Stigma in the UK and Australia. Sexualities, 24(3):474-490.

Simpson, J. (2020) Degrees on the Side: Student Employment and the Neoliberal University, Soundings, 76, 10.3898/SOUN.76.05.2020.

Simpson, J. (2018) “I’m not a bloody slave, I get paid and if I don’t get paid then nothing happens”: Sarah’s experience of being a student sex worker. Work Employment and Society, 33(4): 709-718.

Book Review

Simpson, J. (2017) Mary Laing, Katy Pilcher and Nicola Smith, Queer Sex Work, Routledge: Abingdon, 2015. Sexualities, 20(4): 515-517.


  • 04/2021: A   question of women’s safety?: Sexual Harassment, Violence, and Unwanted   Behaviour and Attention, Leeds Beckett University.
  • 11/2020:   Degrees on the side? Gender and Sexualities Research Centre research-in-progress   event at City, University of London.
  • 04/2019: ‘Feeling   out of place: Student sex workers and the university’, The American   Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington DC.
  • 12/2017: ‘A   comparative analysis of students working in the Australian and UK sex   industries’ with Cassandra Smith - Belonging in a mobile world, The   Australian Sociological Association (TASA) conference 2017, The University of   Western Australia, Perth.
  • 07/2017: ‘Doing ‘dirty’ research’ - British Sociological Association   (BSA) Early Career Forum: Ethics, vulnerability and emotion in the research   process, University of Lincoln.
  • 03/2017: ‘Graduate employment?   Students working in stripping and waitressing’ - COST action Prospol,   Displacing Sex for Sale, Aalborg   University, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 06/2016: ‘A   comparative analysis of students working as strippers and waitresses’ - CERIC   Doctoral Conference, University of Leeds.
  • 06/2016: ‘What happens next? Students working in the hospitality and   sex industry’ - Inequality and Social Justice in Education: Issues of Class,   Race, Gender and Sexuality, University of Warwick.
  • 01/2016: ‘I’m   a student not just a stripper’-   Postgraduate Sex Work Research Conference, University of Leeds.