CSGS Visiting Scholar: fall 2011/spring 2012
Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D. is a part-time assistant professor at the SUNY Downstate School of Public Health and a science writer specializing in sexual health. In addition to the several hundred articles on sexually transmitted diseases she has written in her role of Guide to STDs at About.com, she is the author of The Invision Guide to Sexual Health (Harper Collins, 2005) and America Debates: Genetic Testing (Rosen Publishing 2007).
She is also the editor of the second edition of The Truth About Rape (DWJ Books 2010). Trained in Biophysics and Public Health, her current focus is on how the biological sciences can be used to inform the social discourse on gender and sexuality.
My project explores the ways in which women’s healthcare in the United States is often paternalistic and coercive in ways that men’s healthcare is not. It explores the medical, political, and societal issues surrounding the Papanicolau (Pap) smear with the goal of determining how the medical establishment may be able to alter their practices to best protect the public’s health while still maintaining respect for women’s autonomy. In addition, it investigates the ways in which social attitudes about sexuality, in particular female sexuality, can impede the processes of policy making and research in reproductive health.