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Wendy Simonds


Ph.D., City University of New York, 1990


Birth and Parenthood, Family, Gender, Cultural Studies, Medical Sociology, Sexuality, Theory


Dr. Simonds is currently working a book titled Hospital Land USA: Sociological Adventures in Medicalization (under contract with Routledge), in which she draws on personal experiences and representations of medicalization in American culture to analyze its impact on life and death situations.

Much of Simonds’ previous research centers on the sociology of procreative experiences. She is coauthor (with Barbara Katz Rothman and Bari Meltzer Norman) of Laboring On: Birth in Transition in the United States (Routledge, 2007), author of Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic (Rutgers,1996) and co-author (with Barbara Katz Rothman) of Centuries of Solace: Expressions of Maternal Grief in Popular Literature (Temple, 1992). She has collaborated with researchers at the Population Council, which sponsored the U.S. clinical trials of mifepristone (RU-486), conducting interviews with users and health care workers who participated in the trials.  She has published articles on how mifepristone, as an oral abortion method, affects the ways in which people talk, think about and experience abortion. Another project (with Charlotte Ellertson) examines how providers and users of emergency contraception describe their experiences, and their view of emergency contraception as it relates to procreative decision-making.

Simonds is co-editor of Sex Matters: The Sexuality and Society Reader (WW Norton), now in its fourth edition (2014).

Simonds teaches courses in the specialty areas of gender and sexuality and family, health, and the life course.

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