Rebecca Jordan-Young

Tow Associate Professor and Chair of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Research and Teaching Interests:

Rebecca Jordan-Young is Tow Associate Professor for Distinguished Scholars at Barnard College and Chair of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS). Jordan-Young is the author of Brain Storm: The flaws in the science of sex differences (Harvard, 2010), and more than three dozen articles and book chapters at the intersection of science and social differences, especially gender, sexuality, and race. A Sociomedical Scientist by training, Jordan-Young is the Director of the Science and Social Difference Working Group in the Center for Study of Social Differences at Columbia University, and has held visiting appointments at Radboud University, The Netherlands (2013-14) and the Cognitive Neurosciences Division of the School for International Advanced Studies (SISSA), in Trieste, Italy (2008).

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.

Gender and sexuality in science
Feminist theory
Women's health

B.A., Bryn Mawr College

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