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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
Phone: 617-552-4139



Professor Lisa Cuklanz

Office: St. Mary's Hall South Room S477
Phone: 617-552-8894


Contact Women's and Gender Studies

Graduate Assistants: 

Andrew Yarrows and Jessica Stevens

Office: Carney 270 and 271
Phone: 617-552-4198


Upcoming WGS Events

Sonya Renee Taylor is coming to Boston College on September 28th! If you would like to learn more about her, please visit her website: and see her perform her poem "My Body is Not an Apology"

Sonya Renee Taylor

Past 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

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 and engaging, which created a refreshing environment around a topic that audience members could initially view as taboo.

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.