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Rebecca Jordan-Young

Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Research and Teaching Interests:

Professor Jordan-Young is a sociomedical scientist whose research includes social epidemiology studies of HIV/AIDS, and evaluation of biological work on sex, gender and sexuality. Prior to joining the faculty at Barnard College, she was a Principal Investigator and Deputy Director of the Social Theory Core at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research of the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., and has been a Health Disparities Scholar sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. She teaches courses in science and technology studies, sexuality, gender theory, and HIV/AIDS. In the spring of 2008, Professor Young was a Visiting Scholar at the Cognitive Neuroscience Sector, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Trieste, Italy, and a featured speaker in the FEST Trieste International Science Media Fair.

Selected Publications (by Topic):

Science and Sex/Gender/Sexuality

Her recently launched book, Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences, is a comprehensive critical analysis of research purporting to demonstrate that hormone exposures in utero "hardwire" the brain to be either masculine or feminine in sexuality, skills, and interests.

Jordan-Young, R.M. Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.

Nehm, R.H. and Young, R.M. “Sex Hormones” in Secondary School Biology Textbooks. Science & Education. Online First DOI 10.1007/s11191-008-9137-7, March 2008.

Young, R. and Balaban, E. Psychoneuroindoctrinology. Review of The
Female Brain, by Louanne Brizendine. Nature. 443(12): 634, 2006.

Young, R. and Meyer, I. The Trouble with "WSW" and "MSM”: Erasure of the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Person in Public Health Discourse. American
Journal of Public Health. 95:1144-1149, 2005.

Young, R. and Balaban, E. Aggression, Biology and Context: Dejá-vù All
Over Again? In: Neurobiology of Aggression (Mark P. Mattson, Editor).
Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, Inc., 2003.


Young, R., Friedman, S. and Case, P. Exploring an HIV Paradox: An
Ethnography of Sexual Minority Women Injectors. Journal of Lesbian
Studies. 9(3): 103-133, 2005.

Young, R.M., Friedman, S.R., Case, P.L., Asencio, M.W., and Clatts, M.C.
Women Injection Drug Users Who Have Sex with Women Exhibit Increased HIV Infection and Risk Behaviors. Journal of Drug Issues, 30(3):499-524, 2000.

Young, R. The Scarcity of Data on Cunnilingus. The AIDS Reader, 4(4):132-133, July/August 1994.

Young, R., Weissman, G., and Cohen, J. Assessing Risk in the Absence of Information: HIV Risk Among Women Injection Drug Users Who Have Sex with Women. AIDS and Public Policy Journal, 7(3):175 183, Fall 1992.


Selected Grants

2010 - "Gender, Sex, and Human Health"
Foundation for Worker, Veteran, and Environmental Health

2001 – 2004: Principal Investigator, "Measuring Sexual Minority Status Among Women Drug Users"
National Institutes of Health (NIDA)
Grant # R03 DA14399-01

2001 - 2002: Principal Investigator, "Pilot Studies of Analytic Dialogues with Women Drug Users"
Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, NDRI, Inc.
Grant #P30 DA11041

1997: Co Investigator, "HIV Risk Among Women Injectors Who Have Sex with Women" NDRI, Inc.
National Institutes of Health (NIDA)
Grant #1 R01 DA10870 01

1997 - 1998: Dissertation Fellow, Sexuality Research Fellowship Program, Social Science Research Council


Selected Honors

2003-04: Health Disparities Scholar, National Center on Minority Health & Health Disparities (NCMHD)

2003: Disability Access Recognition Award, Barnard College

2002: Trinity Scholar, Trinity College, Hartford, CT

2000: Marisa de Castro Benton Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in the Sociomedical Sciences; Ph.D. dissertation with Distinction

1993: John and Kathleen Gorman Public Health Humanitarian Award, Columbia University School of Public Health


Selected Courses

Introduction to Women and Health

Pleasures and Power: An introduction to sexuality studies

Gender and HIV/AIDS

Sexualities and Science


Activist Interests

Peace, social justice, health disparities, sexual & economic rights.

Academic Focus: 

Gender and sexuality in science
Feminist theory
Women's health


B.A., Bryn Mawr College

M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University