Paulette Benton-Greig

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Qualifications: BA/LLB (Otago), MA(Hons) (Auckland)

About Me

Born and raised in Auckland, I studied undergraduate law, politics and women's studies at the University of Otago. Then at the University of Auckland I completed a Masters of Arts including a thesis tracing the intersections of law and policy on child custody and domestic violence in Aotearoa. After some travel, I developed a career in people-helping and social services, and have worked in and led community organisations working toward social justice in areas such as domestic violence, sexual violence, restorative justice, Treaty justice, violence prevention, youth parenting, reproductive justice and health equity, rainbow and queer rights, and gender equity.

I have a broad interest in the socio-cultural dynamics of gender and sexuality and in related  issues of justice and equity. This has involved me in a range of projects including teaching in gender and sexuality, researching sexuality in mediated culture, advocacy, policy and research on sexual offending and law reform, and leadership in restorative justice service provision. For instance, I was involved in the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence and the Law Commission projects on alternative trial processes for sexual offending, a critical psychology project seeking to revitalise engagement with the place of pornography in contemporary Aotearoa, and have taught on improving medical care for queer people and rainbow communities. These, and many other projects, combine my work with and for marginalised communities and an intellectual inquiry into the social conditions that will support freedom and justice in sexual and gender relations for everyone.

Papers I Teach

Research Interests

Academically, I'm interested in mediated and commodified intimacies; the intersections of technology, subjectivity and relationality; sexual narratives and the discursive constitution of gender relations; and the social and legal regulation of gender and sexuality and related issues in justice and equity, in particular gendered violence, rape law reform and justice responses to sexual offending.

My work is interdisciplinary, in that I research in both law and social sciences, and am interested in how together social norms and legal regulation shape subjectivity and social relations. I also have an interest in applied research that stems from my experience working in organisations supporting people encountering our criminal justice and health systems. I aim to undertake research that critically investigates how we work toward social justice and supports progressive social change in a particular context. These aims mean I tend to undertake empirical research using social science and critical psychology method/ologies and work with/to support community initiatives in their policy, advocacy and democratic participation goals.


Criminal justice; Cyberlaw, Digital culture; Gendered violence; Rape culture; Rape trials; Sex and the law; Sexual violence; Technology-mediated intimacies; Women and the law

Recent Publications

  • Thorburn, B., Gavey, N., Single, G., Wech, A., Calder-Dawe, O., & Benton-Greig, P. (2021). To send or not to send nudes: New Zealand girls critically discuss the contradictory gendered pressures of teenage sexting. Women's Studies International Forum, 85. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2021.102448 Open Access version:

  • McDonald, E., & Benton-Greig, P. (2020). Complainant care and support: Before and during the trial. In Rape Myths as Barriers to Fair Trial Process: Comparing adult rape trials with those in the Aotearoa Sexual Violence Court Pilot (pp. 59-123). Christchurch, New Zealand: Canterbury University Press. doi:10.18124/1xqx-hy30

  • McDonald, E., & Benton-Greig, P. (2020). About the Research: Cases, methodology and analysis. In Rape Myths as Barriers to Fair Trial Process: Comparing adult rape trials with those in the Aotearoa Sexual Violence Court Pilot (pp. 16-38). Christchurch, New Zealand: Canterbury University Press. doi:10.18124/1xqx-hy30

  • Benton-Greig, P. (2018). [Review of Elisabeth McDonald and Scott Optican (eds) Mahoney on Evidence: Act and Analysis (Thomson Reuters, Wellington, 2018)]. New Zealand Law Journal, 11(December), 362-364.

Find more research publications by Paulette Benton-Greig