about this site and its author

"Sex Research Honeypot" is Alice Dreger's attempt to bring interesting sex research to interested lay people.  Alice doesn't actually trade sex for information. No, no. She trades sex for housing.

This blog was constructed in January, 2011, but it collects Alice's earlier short-form writing on sex research and sex politics. And now for her official bio:

Alice Dreger is Professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. She earned her PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University in 1995. Throughout her career as an academic and patient advocate, Alice has made a practice of using the tools of the humanities—particularly history—to work on issues of social justice in science and medicine. A fellowship recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Alice is internationally recognized as an expert on sex anomalies, conjoined twinning, and contemporary scientific controversies. The unifying concept in her work has been the idea that evidence constitutes an ethical imperative.

Alice Dreger is frequently invited to present grand rounds, keynotes, and plenary addresses at hospitals, universities, and academic conferences. She has also delivered numerous named lectures, including the inaugural Lawrence Badash Memorial Distinguished Lecture in the History of Science at the University of California Santa Barbara (2011), the Brownlee Lecture in Sexuality Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (2010), the Lawson Wilkins Lecture for the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society (2007), and the Brittingham Endowed Visiting Professorship at the University of Wisconsin (2006). In 2009, Cornell College named Alice a Presidential Fellow, and in 2010, she had the honor of presenting Northwestern University’s inaugural TEDx lecture.

Since 1998, Alice’s essays on science, medicine, and life have regularly appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. In 2009, Norton chose her essay, “Lavish Dwarf Entertainment,” for its annual volume of Best Creative Non-Fiction. She is today a regular columnist for the Hastings Center’s Bioethics Forum and a guest blogger for Psychology Today where many of her essays have been named “essential reads” by the editors. She has appeared on dozens of broadcasts as an expert on sex anomalies and conjoined twins, including on CNN, HBO, A&E Biography, Discovery Health, the BBC, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. She has also been a guest expert for Dan Savage in Savage Love.

An award-winning writer, Alice Dreger focused her first two books on the biomedical treatment of people born with atypical sex anatomies. Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex (1998) is now in its sixth printing with Harvard University Press and has recently been translated into Czech. The edited 1999 anthology Intersex in the Age of Ethics constituted an expansion of a special issue of the Journal of Clinical Ethics as guest-edited by Dreger.

Alice’s third book, One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal appeared in 2004 (also with Harvard University Press) and has been translated into Japanese. One of Us received positive reviews in The New Yorker, the New England Journal of Medicine, the London Review of Books, and Nature. It was named book of the month by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and received an honorary mention for the 2005 book award of the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.

In 2005, after serving as a Director of the Intersex Society of North America for seven years, Alice led an unprecedented consensus group of clinicians, affected adults, and parents known as the Consortium on the Management of Disorders of Sex Development. She functioned as the project coordinator and editor-in-chief of the Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development and the companion Handbook for Parents.

Alice is currently completing her Guggenheim book on scientific controversies in the Internet age. She describes it as a memoir of other people’s lives. Two major research articles have arisen from this general project on protecting human rights activism and science—including from each other—in the era of the 24-hour news cycle, namely Alice’s Archives of Sexual Behavior target article on the Bailey book controversy, and her Human Nature commentary on the American Anthropological Association’s role in the Darkness in El Dorado affair. She is also presently following up on the bioethics-advocacy collaboration concerned with the possible abuse of pregnant women and young girls in problematic research studies of atypical sex (as described at fetaldex.org).

In Northwestern University's Medical Humanities and Bioethics  Masters Program, Alice Dreger teaches the History of Medicine course, provides various tutorials, and directs and assists with theses. More about her work is available on her personal website: alicedreger.com.