*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
Featured Feminist Science Track [clear filter]
Friday, March 6

10:45am PST

Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Reproductive Justice: Re-tracing boundaries of access and identity
This symposium utilizes a reproductive justice framework to present current research on Assisted Reproductive Technologies. This framework extends reproductive-rights beyond individual choice to address inequalities imbricated in reproductive medicine. Research topics include access-to-care, third-party and selective-reproductive technologies in neoliberal and postcolonial contexts. Implications for practice, policy, and activism are discussed. Presenters discuss intersecting issues of neoliberalism, colonialism, stratified reproduction, and commodification.

Title I:  Stratified Reproduction in the U.S.: Racial and Sexual Minority Issues

Bernadette V. Blanchfield, Ph.D. Pre-Candidate, Developmental Psychology, University of Virginia


Additional author: Charlotte J. Patterson, Professor of Psychology, Director, Women Gender & Sexuality Program


This talk presents two studies that compared rates at which women in the U.S. reported receiving medical help to become pregnant as a function of race and sexual orientation, using data from two cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth (2002 wave in Study 1; 2006-2010 wave in Study 2). Working within a framework of stratified reproduction, we investigated how income and insurance coverage disparities mediated differences in receipt of fertility assistance between groups. In both studies, heterosexual White women reported receiving assistance at double the rates of women who identified as non-White, sexual minority (i.e., lesbian or bisexual), or both. Insurance and income discrepancies accounted for all differences between sexual minority and heterosexual women’s receipt of pregnancy help in Study 1, but insurance coverage alone explained differences in Study 2. Mediation analyses indicated income and insurance coverage only partially explained differences between White and non-White groups. Although socioeconomic factors did not explain all differences based on racial group membership, the results indicate that lack of insurance coverage seems to limit access to reproductive healthcare among sexual minority women. Implications of these disparities are discussed.


Title II: “It’s not fair, but that’s the way the world works”: Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) for BRCA and Healthcare Neoliberalisms

Emily Breitkopf, M.A., Ph.D. Candidate, New School for Social Research 


Additional authors:

Richard Knight, MA Candidate, New School for Social Research


Individuals with hereditary cancer risk due to a BRCA-mutation have a 50% chance that BRCA-related risk will be transmitted to their children. Reproductive concerns are often prominent among BRCA-mutation carriers. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a controversial ART that enables couples to select preferred embryos. In the U.S., PGD for BRCA is an available, albeit expensive, option for individuals/couples who can afford its use. This paper presents results from a qualitative study of 39 (x-female, X-male) reproductive-age BRCA-mutation carriers, highlighting participants’ attitudes and concerns about access to PGD for BRCA. Participants were predominantly White, affluent, and heterosexual. Analyzed through a post-structuralist discourse-analytic framework, we examine the discursive dilemmas participants face as they consider systems of stratification that make PGD available to some and not others. We trace converging discourses throughout the analysis and consider the implications of PGD within the U.S. neoliberal health-care context.


Title III:  Reproductive Hierarchies: Transnational Reproduction and the Reification of Colonial Spaces



Professor Michele Goodwin, Chancellor's Chair

University of California, Irvine School of Law


Race exploitation and poverty are key, tolerated components of assisted reproductive technology (ART) domestically and abroad. According to a study conducted by the Center for Social Research in India, “[a]dvances in assisted reproductive techniques such as donor insemination and, embryo transfer methods, have revolutionized the reproductive environment, resulting in ‘surrogacy’, as the most desirable option.” Scholars and policy makers frequently observe that “[t]he system of surrogacy has given hope to many infertile couples, who long to have a child of their own” and has expanded reproductive options for gay men, lesbian women, and single persons intending to parent. However, the attention to the advancements in reproductive technologies and the communities they benefit may obscure externalities worth studying. Desperately missing from ART scholarship are more nuanced analytics that feature race and sex in international surrogacy, particularly its commodification of racialized bodies.  This project takes up that issue.


Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm PST

10:45am PST

Incarcerated Women’s Pathways to and Experiences within the Criminal Justice System

This invited symposium presents three mixed-method empirical studies examining incarcerated women’s experiences within the criminal justice system. We will explore women’s pathways to incarceration, mental health outcomes associated with a trauma-informed, gender-specific curriculum for women serving life sentences, and feminist principles in mentoring relationships among community and incarcerated women. 

Presentation I.  Exploring Women’s Pathways to the Criminal Justice System 

Shannon Lynch, Ph.D., Idaho State University,  Dana DeHart, PhD, University of South Carolina, Joanne Belknap, Ph.D., Chris DeCou, BS, Idaho State University 

In response to increasing rates of incarceration of women, researchers have studied gender differences in pathways to the justice system. In particular, women and girls report more experiences of intimate interpersonal violence and greater mental health difficulties than male offenders. Women are also more likely to describe use of substances associated with their offenses. As part of a mixed-methods, multisite study of women’s pathways to jail, a subset (N=115) of participants from a sample of 491 randomly selected women in jails in four regions of the U.S. completed extensive life history calendar interviews.  Our multi-disciplinary research team reviewed these in-depth interviews and created case summaries highlighting onset and extent of interpersonal violence and adversity, types of perpetrator(s), onset and extent of substance use, path into criminal offending, and onset and extent of mental health concerns. We will use these profile summaries to explore intersections of trauma, mental health and substance use in the women’s narratives, to elucidate potential targets for prevention and intervention, and to identify common paths to the justice system. These findings have the potential to inform the development and implementation of prevention efforts with at-risk community populations and gender responsive programming within the corrections system. 

Presentation II.  “I’m Learning How to Live”: Short term and Follow-up Outcomes of a New Intervention with Incarcerated Women with Life Sentences

Gina Fedock, MSW, Doctoral Candidate 

Michigan State University
Incarcerated women with life sentences are a small, but growing sub-population of adults in prison. Strikingly, women with life sentences are often excluded from treatment programming within prisons, given that such programming is reserved for women with shorter sentences or those preparing for re-entry into the community. They have not even been considered a target population for intervention, as they are rarely, if ever, included in samples for new intervention development and testing. This study examines mental health outcomes for a pilot of a new trauma-informed and gender-specific intervention entitled Beyond Violence with a sample of 26 incarcerated women with life sentences in a state prison. Surveys including measures of depression, anxiety, PTSD, serious mental illness, and forms of anger expression were administered at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and three months following completion. Focus groups occurred with the groups at post-intervention, and individual semi-structured interviews were conducted at the follow-up time point. Results will be shared in regards to the changes in mental health and anger measures over time, as well as the themes of the focus groups and interviews. Lastly, a discussion of future practice and research implications for work focused on incarcerated women with life sentences will be included.

 Presentation III. Growth-fostering Relationships and Transforming Self-perceptions: Feminist Principles in the Mentoring of Women in Prison and Beyond


Dawn M. Salgado, PhD

Pacific University

 Previous research examining women’s services and programming while incarcerated have generally been found to be underfunded, inadequate, or inconsistent with empirically-based needs of the population. As new interventions rely on incorporating strength-based, gender-responsive, and restorative justice approaches into their programmatic structure and theory, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting interventions for incarcerated women can be effective at increasing health and well-being, creating opportunities for successful reintegration, and interrupting the cycle of re-incarceration. The current mixed method study examines experiences of community mentors and incarcerated women (N = 29) as they discuss relational and programmatic features associated with their involvement. Results will highlight feminist-based practices and principles typified in these relationships focusing on connection and similarities, empathy and acceptance, and empowerment and effectiveness. In addition, the presentation will discuss incarcerated women’s transformative experiences and the ability of the program to provide a seamless set of services, beginning in prison and extending after release.  This information is directly applicable to the development and implementation of cost-effective strategies to holistically serve incarcerated women. 

Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm PST
Gold Rush B
Saturday, March 7

10:45am PST

3:45pm PST


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