Jenny Higgins

Associate Professor


3309 Sterling

Jenny Higgins

With training in both women’s studies and public health, I am interested, on one hand, in improving public health outcomes (namely, reducing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections). On the other hand, I wish to use feminist approaches to critique the current public health models used to understand and promote health behaviors.  Much of my scholarship applies gender and sexuality lenses to positive sexual health—that is, the presence of sexual well-being and not only the absence of disease or dysfunction.  A sampling of recent research topics includes the following: how pleasure-seeking influences the risk of HIV/AIDS and unintended pregnancy; how contraceptives influence women’s sexual experience, and vice versa, including whether contraceptive use may increase sexual satisfaction; gendered portrayals of heterosexual men and women in the HIV pandemic, especially the “women’s vulnerability” paradigm; and the meanings of pregnancy ambivalence and their consequences for sexual health.

Gender & Women’s Studies Courses:

GWS 103: Women and their Bodies in Health and Disease
GWS 534: Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction: Public Health Approaches
GWS 950: Special Topics in GWS Graduate Study (“Gender and Health”)

If you want an updated list of my publications, please check out my webpage.