Lauren Redfern


About Me: After graduating from the University of Exeter with a BA in Sociology and Anthropology (Hons), I decided to pursue my interest in public health and obtained an MSC in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). I develop experience in conducting interdisciplinary research with a focus on the intersectional relationship between gender, sexuality and medicine. Prior research has included in depth content analysis of young people’s depictions of sexual intimacy and the implications of gendered identities during these encounters.
My Research & The Difference it Makes:  The purpose of my PhD is to conduct a multisited ethnography of synthetic testosterone, drawing attention to the way in which the social and biomedical interact to inform participants perceptions and understandings of the body and its processes. My research is informed by the understanding that aspects of the body (e.g. testosterone) may have their own unique social identities developed in conversation with society.

The gendered characterisation of testosterone (both in research and popular culture) has created a subsisting and specific narrative that leaves much of the diverse patient body ‘using’ synthetic testosterone underrepresented. Talking to both users of synthetic testosterone and medical professionals, I hope to explore whether preconceived understandings influence participant experiences.

My ethnographic approach considers testosterone the subject, affording me the opportunity to fully consider the unique and specific ways this hormone may be experienced differently by different groups. Exploring the body and its processes as fundamentally fluid I hope ultimately to reimagine testosterone through the experiences of my participants –  as unique complex and intersectional.

Supervisors: Simon Cohn & Rebecca French

Pathway: Health & Well being

Location: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Tavistock Place)

Room: Chinese Community Centre