Jessie Ford, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
Profile Headshot


Dr. Jessie Ford is a sociologist whose research explores how expectations and inequalities around gender and sexuality shape sexual health, violence, and pleasure. Dr. Ford's work brings a fresh perspective to sexual health by deploying insights from the sociology of culture and studies of gender inequality. Her current and future research projects explore how micro-level processes combine with meso- or macro-level norms, power differences, or institutional realities to perpetuate social inequality. While her research primarily focuses on the sexual health of young adults in the US, she has also done work on China and Southeast Asia. Dr. Ford completed her MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and her PhD in Sociology at NYU. At present, Dr. Ford is working on an NIAAA funded K01 study on the high rates of sexual assault associated with hazardous drinking among bisexual women. This research utilizes a series of unique datasets enhanced by mixed methods approaches to understand how factors at the individual-level (e.g., sexual-identity-development), interpersonal-level (e.g., interpersonal discrimination), and structural-level (e.g. social policies targeting bisexual people) work together to create risk for bisexual women. Dr. Ford's work also explores the importance of sexual pleasure-an often overlooked and stigmatized dimension of sexual health and human rights-and advocates for its inclusion in public health policy, program implementation and clinical practice.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 2007 Brown University
  • MSc, 2011 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • PhD, 2018 New York University


Selected Publications

Ford JV. (2021) "Unwanted Sex on Campus: The Overlooked Role of Interactional Pressures and Gendered Sexual Scripts." Qualitative Sociology 44:31-53

Ford JV, Choi J, Walsh K, Wall M, Mellins CA, Reardon L, Santelli S, Hirsch JS, Wilson PA. (2021). "Using a daily diary approach to examine substance use and sexual experiences among college students." Archives of Sexual Behavior. 50:277-287

Ford JV, Becker A. (2020). “A Situation Where There Aren’t Rules”: Sexual Assault for Gay, Bisexual and Questioning Men. Sociological Science 7:57-74.

Ford JV, Maggio C. (2020). “Describing Unwanted Sex with Women: How Heterosexual Men’s Accounts Serve to Uphold Masculinity.” Sociological Forum 35(3):648-672

Mishel E, England P, Ford J, Caudillo ML. Cohort. (2020) "Increases in Sex with Same-Sex Partners: Do Trends Vary by Gender, Race, and Class?" Gender & Society 34(2):178-209

Saxon A, Ford JV. (2020) "Now, I am empowered. Now, I am a woman with spirit": Evaluating CARE Public Health Work through a Community Organizing Framework in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. International Quarterly of Community Health Education. 41(3):241-258

Ford JV, Corona Vargas E, Finotelli Jr I, Fortenberry JD, Kismödi E, Philpott A, Rubio-Aurioles E, Coleman E. (2019) "Why Pleasure Matters: Its Global Relevance for Sexual Health, Sexual Rights and Wellbeing." International Journal of Sexual Health 31(3): 217-230

Carter A, Ford JV, Leutke M, Townes A, Fu J, Dodge B, Herbenick D. (2019) "Fulfilling his needs, not mine": Painful sex among women in a nationally representative probability study in the United States. Journal of Sexual Medicine 16(12): 1953-1965

Ford JV. (2018) "Going with the flow": How College Mens Experiences of Unwanted Sex are Produced by Gendered Interactional Pressures. Social Forces 3(1):1303-1324

Ford JV, Ivankovich M, Douglas J, Hook E, Barclay L, Elders J, Satcher D, Coleman E. (2017) The Need to Promote Sexual Health in America: A New Vision for Public Health Action. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 44(10): 579-585