Professor of Gender and Science Studies, Lancaster University

I am curently the Co-Director, with Vicky Singleton of the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies and also, with Anne Cronin, Joint Doctoral Director in the Department of Sociology.

My research centres on the body, health, reproduction, sexuality and aging. My latest book, entitled 'Puberty in Crisis: a bio-psycho-social account', for Cambridge University Press is available from September 2015 (http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/sociology/sociology-gender/puberty-crisis-sociology-early-sexual-development?format=HB). This book brings together feminist science studies, feminist theories of the body, sexuality and girlhood studies to explore the current global 'crisis' in sexual development.

This work builds on my earlier book, Messengers of Sex: hormones, biomedicine and feminism (Cambridge University Press, 2007), which explores the role of hormones in producing sexually differentiated bodies (http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521681971). In it, I critically analyse scientific and biomedical texts, pharmaceutical advertisements, patient leaflets, and popular media accounts of sex hormones and how they work in our bodies. I have published several articles on this area (see below), with a particular focus on hormone replacement therapy. I am interested in questions of responsibility and risk in contemporary biomedicine, and in how patients come to make decisions about engaging with new medical technologies.

I am also the co-author (with Sarah Franklin) of a book on genetics and reproduction, entitled Born and Made: An ethnography of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (Princeton University Press, 2006) (http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8313.html). This work is based on three years of ethnographic research of the so-called 'designer baby technique' (preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD). This research was funded by the ESRC and MRC within the Innovative Health Technologies programme. With Franklin and Karen Throsby (Warwick University), I have also studied the donation of embryos to stem cell research within the PGD clinic (funded by the Wellcome Trust and CESAGen). Karen Throsby and Ihave since worked together on early puberty and obesity.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Gender and Science Studies, Lancaster University

Education

  • 1999 
    University of Sydney, PhD