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Danielle Bessett

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Cincinnati
Chapter Member: Central Ohio SSN

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About Danielle

Bessett studies issues surrounding reproduction, medical sociology, family, the body, gender, representations of reproduction in popular culture, and qualitative research methods. She received her PhD and MA in Sociology from New York University and her BA in English from Mount Holyoke College. 


Does Knowledge about Abortion Depend on Where People Live?

  • Alison Norris

In the News

Danielle Bessett's research on Melanie Schefft, "TV's Influence on Pregnancy, Childbirth More Powerful than Many Women Admit," EurekAlert!, February 13, 2018.
Danielle Bessett quoted on the effects of television representation of birth on pregnant women by Chandra Johnson, "How TV Depictions of Childbirth Could be Hurting Moms-to-Be" Deseret News , June 3, 2016.
Danielle Bessett quoted on abortion laws and procedures in conservative versus liberal states by Laura Geggel , "Liberal and Conservative States Equally Clueless about Abortions" LiveScience, August 18, 2014.
Danielle Bessett quoted on health insurance expansion and Massachusetts abortion rates by Brian Fung, "Increased Access to Health Care May Decrease Abortions" The Atlantic , August 24, 2012.


"The Road to Fatherhood Using Assisted Reproductive Technology: Decision Making Processes and Experiences among Gay Male Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogates" (with Ilana B. Ressler, Julie M. Sroga, Sarah Rompola, Rachael M. Ferrari, Michael A. Thomas , and Steven R. Lindheim). Gynecology and Obstetrics Research 1, no. 1 (2014): 12-17.

Identifies potential needs for improvement in the decision making process for gay male couples and their gestational surrogates. Discusses an overall lack in support from assisted reproductive technology programs, attorneys, obstetricians, and pediatricians. Finds that there needs to be increased sensitivity and support from those providing services to the intended parents and gestational surrogate. 

"Connecting Knowledge about Abortion and Sexual and Reproductive Health to Belief about Abortion Restrictions: Findings from an Online Survey" (with Alison Norris, Megan L. Kavanuagh, and Lisa Littman). Women's Health Issues 23, no. 4 (2013): 239-247.

Examines individuals' knowledge about abortion in the context of their knowledge about other sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues, including contraception, abortion, pregnancy, and birth.

"Barriers to Contraceptive Access after Health Care Reform: Experiences of Young Adults in Massachusetts" (with Joanna Prager, Julia Harvard, Danielle J. Murphy, Madina Agenor, and Angel M. Foster). Women's Health Issues 25, no. 2 (2015): 91-96.

Explores how Massachusetts' 2006 health insurance reforms affected access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for young adults. Finds that young adult-targeted efforts should address the challenges of health service utilization unique to this population.

"Abortion Stigma: A Reconceptualization of Constituents, Causes, and Consequences" (with Alison Norris, Julia Steinberg, Megan Kavanaugh, Silvia De Zordo, and Davida Becker). Women's Health Issues 21, no. 3 (2011): 49-54.

Discusses five reasons why abortion is stigmatized. Examines causes and consequences of abortion stigma to illustrate how it is manifest for affected groups.

"Does State-Level Context Matter for Individuals' Knowledge about Abortion, Legality, and Health? Challenging the 'Red States v. Blue States' Hypothesis" (with Alison Norris, Caitlin Gerdts, Lisa Littman, and Megan Kavanaugh). Culture, Health, and Sexuality 17, no. 6 (2015).

Examines individuals’ knowledge about abortion in relation to political context of their current state of residence, assess health-related and legality abortion knowledge, to find that state-level conservatism does not modify the existing relationships between individual predictors and each of the two types of abortion knowledge. Disputes the ‘red states’ versus ‘blue states’ hypothesis, and finds that knowledge about abortion’s health effects in the USA is low.

Pregnant with Possibilities: Constructing Normality in Stratified Reproduction (New York University Press , forthcoming).

Explores racial, ethnic, and class disparities by analyzing how pregnant women across these social groups see, interpret, and value their reproductive efforts using the obstetric concept of “normal pregnancy” as a lens.  The book reveals that “normal” is a paradox: it appears self-evident but communicates complex cultural assumptions about pregnancy, mothering, and anticipated children.