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Sue Westwood



Dr Sue Westwood
BSc (Hons), MSc (Geront), MSc (IntPsych), DipCnsPsych, PGDip (Gender, Sexuality & Human Rights), GDL, PhD (Law), FHEA

Senior Lecturer

I am a social gerontologist and socio-legal researcher with an interest in ageing, diversity and equality in regulatory contexts, and, in particular, the equitable delivery of health and social care to older women and older LGBTQ people.

I joined York Law School as a Lecturer in 2018 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2021. I had previously taught law at Keele University, Coventry University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I had also been a research fellow/research associate at several universities, including the University of Oxford and the University of Surrey, where I was a member of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender (CRAG). I was also previously a Visiting Scholar at Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, USA.



Sue is a member of the University of York's Ageing Network.

Sue is on research leave in 2022, working on research and/or writing projects on the following topics:

  • The Sexageism Project’, which explores how UK older women understand and experience everyday ageism and sexism, how the two interact and how older women are affected by them.
  • The regulation of menopause discrimination in the workplace.
  • The regulation of (gendered) ageism in the media.
  • Gender and disability critical approaches to advance sexual directives.
  • The ethical and practical implications of faith-based care delivery to older LGBTQ+ people.
  • Legal consciousness in older age care homes.
  • Good practice in LGBTQ+ dementia care.

Sue is also co-editor (with Professor Nancy Knauer of Beasley Law School, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA) of Edward Elgar’s forthcoming Research Handbook on Law, Society and Ageing, due out in 2023.


Selected publications

For a full list of publications see York research database

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Westwood, S. (2022). “People with faith-based objections might display homophobic behaviour or transphobic behaviour”: Older LGBTQ people’s fears about religious organisations and staff providing long-term care. Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging,

  • Westwood, S. (2022) Religious-based negative attitudes towards LGBTQ people among healthcare, social care and social work students and professionals: A review of the international literature. Health and Social Care in the Community

  • Westwood, S. (2020) The myth of ‘older LGBT+’ people: Research shortcomings and policy/practice implications for health/care provision. Journal of Aging Studies, 55,

  • Westwood, S., Willis, P., Fish, J., Hafford-Letchfield, T., Semlyen, J., King, J., Beach, B., Almack, K., Kneale, D., Toze, M. and Becares, L. (2020) Older LGBT+ Health Inequalities: Setting a research agenda. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, doi: 10.1136/jech-2019-213068.

Monographs and edited collections

  • Westwood, S. (Ed) (2021) Death Rights: Regulating the endings of life. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Westwood, S. (Ed) (2018). Ageing, Diversity and Equality: Social justice perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge. [Successfully nominated by Routledge for the Knowledge Unlatched Open Access scheme]

  • Westwood, S., and Price, E. (Eds) (2016) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* (LGBT*) Individuals Living with Dementia: Concepts, practice and rights. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Westwood, S. (2016) Ageing, Gender and Sexuality: Equality in Later Life. Abingdon: Routledge. [Winner of the Socio Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Early Career Book Prize for 2017]

Book chapters

  • Westwood, S. (2020). Older Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People: Socio- legal perspectives on healthcare inequalities in later life. In M.A. Jacob and A. Kirkland (Eds) Research Handbook for Socio-Legal Studies of Medicine and Health, part of Law and Society series directed by Austin Sarat (Amherst, US) and Rosemary Hunter (Queen Mary, London), London: Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • Westwood, S. (2018). Which ageing ‘families’ count? Older lesbian, gay and bisexual family forms – relational legal in/exclusions in (older age) family law. In J. Herring and B. Clough, (Eds) Ageing, Gender and Family Law. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Westwood, S. and Lowe, J. (2017). The hidden sexualities of older lesbians and bisexual women. In C. Barrett and M. Gott (Eds.). Addressing the Sexual Rights of Older People: Theory, Policy and Practice, pp 56-69. Abingdon: Routledge.

External activities


Sue has collaborated with a wide range of international and national external organisations, including:

In the UK: Public Health England, Age UK, Alzheimer's Society, Carers UK, the MS Society, City of York Council, Yorkshire MESMAC, LGBT Foundation, Opening Doors London, SAND (Safe Ageing, No Discrimination), and Brighton and Hove Switchboard 

Internationally: SAGE USAFenway Health, Boston and Rainbow Health Ontario

Invited expert at World Health Organisation (WHO) international consultation event to inform forthcoming WHO report "Tackling elder abuse: Priorities for the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2021 – 2030", 22 April 2022.


Sue attends, chairs and convenes a range of academic and public events each year.


Sue is a member of the Socio Legal Studies Association, the Law and Society Association, and the British Society of Gerontology. She was Honorary Secretary of the British Society of Gerontology 2020-2022.

Other Activities

Sue is an invited book reviewer for Routledge and Policy Press and a reviewer of articles submitted to the following peer-reviewed academic journals:

Ageing and Society; American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementia; Canadian Journal for Law and Society; Clinical Gerontologist; Culture, Health and Sexuality; Health Promotion Journal of Australia; Housing Studies; International Journal of Law and Psychiatry; Journal of Academic Development and Education (JADE ); Journal of Human Rights Practice; NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research); Psychology and Sexuality; Psychology of Sexualities Review; Research on Ageing; Social Epidemiology; Social Science and Medicine; Social Theory and Health; The British Journal of Sociology; The Journal of Medical Ethics; The Journal of Nursing Ethics; The Sociological Review.

Sue is also a peer reviewer for the following grant-making bodies:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); National Institute for Health Research (NIHR); Swiss Nationale Fondation.



I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

I have taught/am teaching on the following modules:

  • LLB Introduction to Law and Society (Year 1)
  • LLB Legal Concepts (Year 1)
  • LLB Foundations in Law (Obligations) (Years 1 and 2)
  • LLB Dissertation (Year 3)

I have designed, and am Module Leader for, the third-year LLB module, Law, Gender and Sexuality (LAW00064H), which is studied by both Law and Social Policy undergraduates. I have a new Module, Law and Emotion, under development.


I am Module Leader for the postgraduate law optional module, Law, Gender and Sexuality (LAW00072M) 

PhD Dissertations

I welcome inquiries from students interested in completing PhDs in my research areas.

Contact details

Dr Sue Westwood
York Law School

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 5874