“I just wanted it gone”: Examining wanted hysterectomies through two gendered case studies
Awarded 2021
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Andréa Becker, MA
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Andréa Becker (she/they) is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. As a medical sociologist, Andréa asks research questions regarding gender, sexuality, and reproduction. She is particularly interested in contested medical practices, or elements of health and wellness imbued with polarizing gendered meaning, such as abortion, sterilization procedures, and self-managed reproductive healthcare. More broadly, her research seeks to understand the ways social structures and cultural gender ideologies shape private understandings of medicine, reproduction, and one’s own body. This interest began as an MA student at Vanderbilt University during an independent project on how people in “red states” talk about and make sense of their abortions. Now, her dissertation draws on 100 intensive interviews with people who have had, want, or previously sought a hysterectomy. Interviewees fit in at least one of the following two gendered case studies: individuals with chronic reproductive illness (such as endometriosis or fibroids) and trans and non-binary individuals seeking gender-affirming medical care. These rich first-person narratives have the potential to improve service delivery by identifying barriers of care for two groups who have been historically neglected or marginalized in healthcare. In addition to her research, Andréa teaches Sociology of Healthcare at Lehman College in the Bronx, writes guest editorials in feminist magazines, and is currently preparing a book-length manuscript on the history, epidemiology, and contemporary experiences of hysterectomy.