Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism
Law, Justice and Journalism

Laura Thompson


PhD Topic: When a Match Bites Back: Harassment on Online Dating Services
Supervisors: Professor Rosalind Gill and Dr Carrie-Anne Myers
Email: laura.thompson@city.ac.uk

The Study

Laura’s research investigates women's experiences of harassment and sexual violence whilst online dating. The project involves analyses of messages sent over dating apps to explore the forms and content of online abuse, along with interviews with young women about their lived experiences of these issues. This study seeks to contribute to an emerging body of research on the role of digital technologies in date and acquaintance abuse against women.

Her research findings and/or expertise have appeared in major media outlets (print, TV, online) including BBC London News, The Daily Telegraph, New Scientist, Huffington Post, The Independent and The Conversation.

Research Interests

  • Gender and sexuality-based inequalities
  • Social media and digital cultures
  • Technology use in intimate life
  • Psychosocial and feminist research methodology


2014 – present: PhD in Sociology, City, University of London

Awards: Doctoral Studentship provided by the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism

2009 – 2013: Bachelors in Psychology (Hons), Murdoch University, Western Australia

Awards: Australian Psychological Society Prize


Peer reviewed:

Thompson, L. (2018). ‘I can be your Tinder nightmare’: Harassment and misogyny in the online sexual marketplace. Feminism and Psychology28(1), 69–89.

Thompson, L., & Donaghue, N. (2014). The confidence trick: Competing constructions of confidence and self-esteem in young women’s discussions of the sexualisation of culture. Women’s Studies International Forum, 47, 23-35.

Media publications:

#DickPics are no joke: cyber-flashing, misogyny and online dating (3 February 2016). The Conversation. Republished in The Independent.

Talks and Conferences

(2018). Contributor to ‘Friday Lates: The Future of Dating’. V&A Museum, February 23

(2017). Contributor to ‘#MeToo: A Panel Discussion on Vulnerability and Visibility’, Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL, Nov 21

(2017). “‘There’s definitely creeps on there:’ The spectre of sexual violence in women’s experiences with online dating.” Paper presented at Gender and Sexualities Research Forum symposium on Gender, Sexuality and Digital Culture, June 20.

(2016). “The Missing Discourse of Consent: Sexist Harassment on Online Dating Platforms”. Paper presented at Preventing Sexual Violence Conference, Birmingham City University, August 25

(2016). “#ByeFelipe!”: Misogyny on dating apps and call-out culture.  Paper presented at: Mediated Feminisms: Activism and Resistance to gender and sexual violence in the digital age, Institute of Education, May 6.

(2015). “Calling out dudes who turn hostile”: Social media and the fight for justice against sexual harassment on online dating services. Paper presented at:Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives Symposium, Digital Cultures Research Centre, Bristol, November 7


Department of Sociology, City, University of London

  • New Media Challenges (BA Sociology): Seminar Leader. Spring 2016
  • Gender, Crime and Justice (BA Criminology): Seminar Leader. Spring 2016
  • Key Issues in Criminology (BA Criminology): Guest Lecturer. Winter 2016
  • Criminal Justice (BA Criminology): Guest Lecturer. Autumn, 2015
  • Good Academic Practice: Tutor. Autumn, 2015
  • Violence(BA Criminology): Seminar Leader. Autumn 2015