Neoliberal Mothering and Vaccine Refusal

by Jennifer A. Reich

“Thanks, Anti-Vaxxers. You Just Brought Back Measles in NYC. Measles was considered eliminated at the turn of the millennium. Now it’s back, thanks to the loons who refuse to vaccinate their children.”

This was the lead of a story this spring on the Daily Beast. Although this impassioned post communicates fear and frustration that accompany threats of vaccine-preventable infectious disease, it doesn’t accurately characterize the parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. In this study, published in October in Gender & Society, I interview mothers who reject recommended vaccines for their children, either by opting out completely, consenting to only a few, or reworking the schedule to meet their own preferences to understand how they make sense of the choice. These mothers care about their own children and aim to make the best decisions for them, which they believe requires questioning medical information, educating themselves from sources they see as more reliable (and independent from medical or public health sources), and actively managing their children’s lives. Continue reading

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Filed under Family, Health/Medical, Politics/State/Nationalism

Broadening Educational Opportunities for Women

by Catherine Riegle-Crumb

A recent study that has been receiving attention on the web (here) concluded that as educational opportunities for women across Europe expanded over many decades, so that women earned the same number of years of education as men, there was a corresponding decrease in gender gaps in cognitive tests of numeracy. Simply put, when women had the chance to attend school for the same length of time as men, men’s advantage on math tests dramatically declined. This new study adds to a large body of academic research which finds that gender differences on standardized tests are found to be larger or smaller depending on a host of social and cultural factors, including the educational opportunities that societies offer their young men and women. Continue reading

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Filed under Adolescence/Children, Education

(Trans)gender Culture Clashes: Social Recognition and Determining the “Real”

by Carla Pfeffer

When I first spoke with Teresa, she had been dating her partner, Jess, for a year and a half. Over the course of our two-hour telephone call, she spoke to me about both the struggles and rewards of being a cisgender (non-transgender) woman partner of a transgender man. Teresa and Jess started dating a year after Jess began taking testosterone. Jess had top surgery while the two were partnered. Teresa described herself as strongly lesbian femme identified and she had primarily dated butch lesbians in the past. Because of her feminine appearance, she was often assumed by others to be unremarkably heterosexual, rendering her lesbian femme identity invisible. She found that one of the powerful aspects of partnering with butch lesbians was that her own lesbian femme identity suddenly became visible as strangers would “read” her partners as masculine women, but women nevertheless. Continue reading

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Filed under Family, Sexualities, Transgender

From Pink and Blue to Brown: Gendering the Garden

This piece was cross-posted with permission from Girl W/ Pen. To view the original piece, click here.
by Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo

Hondagneu-Sotelo_image1Are flowers feminine and lawn masculine? Or are gardens, with their domestic allure and food provisioning, feminine altogether? Thinking about gender as a duality of flowery femininity and masculine mowing doesn’t get us very far. It’s like trying to squish bio-diversity into a binary code. We know gender is shaped by intersections of race, class and nation, by myriad subcultural groups and by everyday acts of gender bending and deliberate non-compliance. So what do we see when we look at the residential garden as a project of gender? Continue reading

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Filed under Care Work, Migration & Citizenship, Race/Ethnicity, Work & Family

The Gendered Metropolis

by Amin Ghaziani

What are we to make of the many anxieties that surround the alleged demise of iconic gay neighborhoods like the Castro in San Francisco? The media, including The New Yorker (here), Salon (here), Time magazine (here), Huffington Post (here), BBC Radio 4 (here), Yahoo News (here), and the Advocate (here), have all taken a keen interest in this hot-button topic. Continue reading

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Filed under Sexualities, Space & Place, Uncategorized

“You Are Like A Virus”: Dangerous Bodies And Military Medical Authority in Turkey

by Oyman Basaran

In Turkey military service has been compulsory for all men since 1927. It is culturally coded as a rite of passage that prepares and shapes young boys towards an “ideal” manhood. Considering the cultural and political importance of military service in Turkey, it is no surprise that the Turkish military has a very strict recruitment policy with only a few options for exemption. These options are available to men with severe medical problems that are considered an obstacle to fulfilling their duties in the military. My research focuses on the experiences of men who seek exemption based on homosexuality.   Continue reading

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Filed under Health/Medical, Masculinities, Sexualities, Work & Organizations

Brief: Back on Track? The Stall and Rebound in Support for Women’s New Roles in Work and Politics, 1977-2012

Cross-posted with permission from the Council on Contemporary Families symposium on the 2014 Gender Revolution Rebound. Click here to view the original piece



David Cotter, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, Union College

Joan Hermsen, Ph.D., Chair, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Missouri,; 573.884.1420

Credits: Kheel Center via Flickr Creative Commons

Credits: Kheel Center via Flickr Creative Commons


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Filed under Family, Work & Family