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Photo of Dr Kate Goldie Townsend

Dr Kate Goldie Townsend

Associate Lecturer

I am an Associate Lecturer for Politics and SSIS. I teach on modules across Politics, mainly in Political Theory.

I have a PhD in Political Philosophy, examined by Professor Clare Chambers (Cambridge) and Professor Catriona McKinnon (Exeter), awarded in 2021. I have published in Philosophy and Social Criticism and Nature's International Journal of Impotence Research: Your Sexual Medicine Journal. My doctoral dissertation defended the idea that all children have a right to genital integrity, whatever their cultural background, sex trait category, gender identity, or age. I examined moral and legal inconsistency in the real-world treatment of child genital cutting practices and argued that all children have an interest in having their external conditions for exercising and developing sexual autonomy protected:

I have two very young children who help to keep me grounded, resilient, and determined, they also make sure I go to the beach at least once a week. 

Research group links

Research interests

Political Theory, Applied Political Theory, Feminism, Children's Rights, Autonomy, Phenomenology, Motherhood, the relationship between peri-natal people's bodies and the promotion of children's interests

External impact and engagement

Breastfeeding, Bodily Autonomy, and Unicef's "call to action". Paper at Contentious Science, Tricky Politics; Experts and Scientists in Controversial Policy Debates in Europe and Northern America conference, 20-22 October 2021, Bordeaux.  

Culture and child genital cutting. Paper at MANCEPT workshop: "My culture made me do it", Freedom and Choice in Current Multicultural Democracies, 7-9 September 2021.

The Politics and Ethics of Autonomy. Panel organiser and chair for Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought conference, January 2021.

Are children's right bad for women? Paper at Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought conference, January 2020, St Catherine's College Oxford.

Intersexuality and the child's right to genital integrity. Paper at the European Conference for Politics and Gender, July 2019, Amsterdam.

Are children's rights bad for mothers? Paper at 5th Annual Conference for Global Ethics: Bodies and Embodiment, May 2019, Birmingham. 

Children's rights and genital cutting. Paper at Association for Political Philosophy annual conference, June 2017, Sheffield.

Gender, culture, and cultural supremacism. Paper at SWDTC Workshop on Anne Phillips, Political Theory and Gender, May 2016, Bristol.

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