Since first traveling there in 1994, Indonesia has been the primary location of Sharyn's research, which was originally about gender and sexuality but more recently has incorporated surveillance, social media, and policing.
Her current research also looks at policing in Indonesia and explores police corruption, the influence of foreign donors on the police service, public perceptions of police, gender and policing, and the applicability of a procedural justice model of policing in Indonesia.
She previously published two monographs on rethinking ways in which gender operates in the Indonesian archipelago. One text is a theoretical exploration of gender and sexuality and the other is an ethnographic case study on the ways individuals negotiate gendered selves from adolescence onwards. Her most recent publication is Sex and Sexualities in Contemporary Indonesia: Sexual Politics, Diversity, Representations and Health, co-edited with Linda Bennett. This book was the 2015 winner of the Ruth Benedict prize for best edited collection, awarded by the American Anthropology Association.