Jessie V Ford

Dr. Ford is a sociologist who conducts research at the junction of social science and public health, with particular emphasis on how expectations and inequalities around gender and sexuality shape sexual violence, health, and pleasure. Dr. Ford’s work brings a fresh perspective to sexual and reproductive health by deploying insights from the sociology of culture and studies of gender inequality. What facilitates a healthy sexual interaction? Why do people have unwanted sex and when does an experience shift over into sexual assault? These questions remain topics of ongoing public debate. While much research has focused on disentangling the individual-level factors (e.g. drinking, past victimization), and sometimes even more structural factors (rape myths; campus environments), less is known about the social production of sexual outcomes at the interactional-level. What Dr. Ford brings to the study of sexual health is rigorous engagement with the importance of social interactions with particular attention to how gender inequality is reproduced in sexul interactions. Dr. Ford received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and her Doctorate in Sociology from New York University. In her current postdoctoral position at Columbia University’s Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Dr. Ford works under Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler (on the CPRC Steering Committee) to implement an NIH R01 grant researching the effect of structural stigma on the sexual health of gay and bisexual men in the United States.

Research Interests

Sexual Violence
Social Determinants


General Social Survey