Jo Phoenix

Professor of criminology

Prof Jo Phoenix

Jo Phoenix is a professor of criminology and co-founder of the Open University Gender Critical Research Network. For as long as she has been a professional academic, she has been interested in sex, gender, sexualities and youth; she has spent more than 20 years researching women, young people, crime and justice. She is the author of several books and articles on prostitution, prostitution policy reform, child sexual exploitation, academic ethics and professionalism and youth justice. Most of her work is about understanding the unintended and often paradoxical consequences of policy reform that has as its explicit purpose the attempt to make things better for marginalised categories of people.

“I came out as a lesbian in Texas in the late 1980s. I moved to England a year after Greenham Peace Camp was established. I learned politics through a feminist lens and have spent a lifetime fighting for justice for women and children. Although societies shape us from the day we are born, we come into this world and live within it as biological beings. This means that we have a sex, we age and we die. At present, we live in a society structured by profound class, sex and age based inequalities. Sex matters because it shapes where we are in relation to those inequalities.”