Dr Joy Townsend is a Sociologist and gender and sexualities expert. She is comfortable with complexity and inherently curious. Her work centres on the lived experiences of young women; women & sexualities, women & work, women & culture. Joy speaks and writes extensively on complex issues such as sexual consent, pleasure and agency. Joy is the Founder and CEO of Learning Consent – a consent training organisation whose mission is to enable young people of all genders & sexualities to get better at sexual consent.

Joy finds herself drawn to the complex aspects of the human experience - the grey and murky subject areas. Her work often explores the ‘elephant in the room’ issues - bringing either her own or the life story of another to an otherwise not-often-talked-about subject. She believes that narrative is life changing.

Joy has been working as an applied social researcher for a number of years, designing and delivering end-to-end impactful research, both independently and in teams, for a diverse array of clients across both the public and private sector. The focus of her applied research is on diversity and inclusion in the context of organisational culture - using her research skillset to provide stakeholders with in-depth insights into people’s lived experiences, which are then used to inform evidence-based strategies for change initiatives. Much of her research has been across sensitive and complex issues requiring the navigation of politically sensitive and delicate organisational spaces.

Joy also works as an educator in various capacities - presenting research findings and expertise to students and stakeholders. Currently, she delivers training and teaching across the following subject areas: Ethical AI, Sexual Consent, Primary Ethics for NSW Dept. of Education and Sociological Theory. Joy is passionate about partnering with individuals and organisations who desire to think differently.

Speaking topics

Consent Training

Dr Joy Townsend delivers informative and confronting seminars on the subject of sexual consent. She’ll step you through the latest research and introduce you to the key terms and sociocultural concepts defining young people’s experiences of consent. Joy is not afraid to get real about the complexities of sexual consent. Each of her seminars are research driven, evidence based and inclusive.

Key takeaways:

  • Redefining sexual consent: Beyond ‘no means no’
  • Sexual consent and the influence of gendered sociocultural norms: mainstream pornography, slut-shaming, toxic masculinities and rape culture
  • Sexual consent in 2021: Drugs, alcohol and social media
  • Pleasure and responsibility: Productive rather than preventative approaches to consent
Dr Joy Townsend speaker

Speaker Video

Consent training

Consent training

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