About the SexGen Policy Lab

The SexGen Policy lab is co-lead by founding University of Pennsylvania faculty members, Amy Castro Baker, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor at the School of Social Policy and Practice and Amy Hillier, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning in the School of Design. The lab aims to build and disseminate knowledge at the intersection of critical theory, gender, and sexuality with a distinct emphasis on applied policy, economic, and housing research. Our work positions social science research on gender in a posture of resilience  and strength to be leveraged for social change, social supports, and policy innovation.  We reconceptualize policy work as needing to occur across the public and private institutions that inform and infuse the lives of people experiencing marginalization in society and the housing economy--particularly those of LGBTQ youth who are most at risk.

The lab provides methodological and theoretical scaffolding while serving as a research hub for Penn students, faculty, and community partners who co-lead our research efforts. Current projects include community-based research on gender, housing policy, asset accumulation, and the experience of marginalized populations in housing and policy systems. We employ a range of methodology including mixed-methods, program evaluation, exploratory qualitative research, and critical participatory action research. Funding for the SexGen Policy lab is generously provided by the Penn Futures Project and an alumni gift to the School of Social Policy and Practice. 


“Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.”                      

           ~Jane Addams