FruSTRAIGHTing the norm aims to further our knowledge and understanding of notions and attitudes of heteronormativity in South Africa.


The proposed project aims to address the topic of heteronormativity in South Africa to understand the concept better within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and to make recommendations on various levels that would inform policy. Empirical evidence will be gathered through a mixed-research study that aims to investigate the extent to which staff and students at HEIs in Gauteng-based HEIs are likely to hold heteronormative and normative gendered views. The study proposes an exploration of the views held by students and staff at South African HEIs on sexuality, gender, gendered sexual practices, and agents of socialisation.


The proposed project has three main objectives:

  1. To further our knowledge and understanding of the notions and attitudes regarding heteronormativity in HEIs.
  2. To shed light on the different intersections that exist in HEIs and how these impacts and are impacted by notions and beliefs surrounding heteronormativity.
  3. To actively work on ways to challenge these notions and attitudes and promote discussions surrounding topics on sexuality, gender, gendered sexual practices, and agents of socialisation.


  1. Conducting a mixed-methods research project on heteronormative views in higher educational institutions among staff and students;
  2. Host colloquia whereby a network of experts on the topic is invited to come together and share their individual works on the topic;
  3. Run a workshop among postgraduate students where knowledge around the topic of heteronormativity and sexuality will be shared.
  4. Produce research outputs, such as peer-reviewed journal articles and popular media pieces.

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