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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Women's and Gender Studies Home

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Program Co-Directors

Professor Sharlene Hesse-Biber

Office: McGuinn 419
Email: hesse@bc.edu
Phone: 617-552-4139

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Professor Lisa Cuklanz

Office: St. Mary's Hall South Room S477
Email: cuklanz@bc.edu
Phone: 617-552-8894

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Contact Women's and Gender Studies

Graduate Assistants: 

Andrew Yarrows and Jessica Stevens

Office: Carney 270 and 271
Phone: 617-552-4198
Email: gender@bc.edu

 

Recent WGS Events

Peggy Orenstein at Boston College

On Monday, March 27th, Peggy Orenstein spoke to Boston College students about her most recent book Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. Peggy Orenstein is a New York Times bestselling author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter and Waiting for Daisy. She spoke about her research and the conversations she had with more than 70 young women, ages 15-20, discussing aspects of sexuality, including the stigma of virginity, the thorny politics of "looking hot," consent, and sexual assault. In her presentation, Peggy Orenstein examined the ways in which porn and all its sexual myths have seeped into young people’s lives. She talked about how pop culture sexualizes young women by creating undue pressure to look and act sexy. These pressures affect both the sexual expectations that girls put on themselves and the expectations boys project onto them. Orenstein also spoke a lot more about how these pressures transfer into sexual interactions during "hook ups" and how these young women navigate through school, careers, family, and personal relationships. 

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Gail Dines Speaks at Boston College

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"Navigating Sexual Identity & Body Image in a Digitized Porn Culture"

Write-Up by Haley Holmes, Class of 2019, WGS Undergraduate Assistant

Dr. Gail Dines, Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Wheelock College, graced the Boston College campus with her vibrant presence on Monday, October 17th. Her talk, entitled “Navigating Sexual Identity & Body Image in a Digitized Porn Culture,” was based off of her book, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. Dr. Dines was funny, witty, and engaging, which created a refreshing environment around a topic that audience members could initially view as taboo.

In just over an hour, Dr. Dines covered the “glaring whiteness” of women in media, the porn culture, health effects of pornography, the future of the porn industry, and much more. She described some of the downfalls of pornography, including that it is accessible to everyone, even adolescents and children. Dr. Dines stated that children as young as 11 years old are being taught unhealthy misconceptions about sex, and this can negatively affect their relationships. While Dr. Dines discussed the power of the porn industry, she made it clear that there is still much work to be done. Her own program called Culture Reframed is working to address some of the negative consequences of pornography, viewing it as a public health crisis of the digital age.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program would like to thank all attendees and, of course, Dr. Gail Dines for giving an incredible presentation. Look out for more speakers coming to BC in our newsletters!    

Women's and Gender Studies Seniors: Janet Wilson Award

Paper Submissions are due Friday, April 7th, 2017

Every spring a graduating senior is granted an award for distinguished scholarship in Women's and Gender Studies. To be considered for the Janet Wilson James Award, submit the following to gender@bc.edu:

  • A piece of scholarly writing on any gender issue.  This piece can be an empirical paper, theoretical paper, or senior honor's thesis - 20 pages or less.
  • A brief letter communicating your involvement with women's issues during your college career.

The recipient of the Janet Wilson James Award will be announced at a commencement Award Ceremony at the end of the semester.

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