AMTD Post-Doctoral Fellow develops new research and tools to dismantle femmephobia

Thursday, October 6, 2022

You might not have a name for it, but you’ve likely seen or experienced its impact. Femmephobia refers to the way society devalues and regulates femininity, or anything deemed feminine, whether expressed by women, nonbinary people or men. This insidious form of prejudice impacts everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation — but Dr. Rhea Ashley Hoskin aims to change all that.

“The way society devalues and regulates femininity is almost second nature. We tend to take it for granted that a man would be ridiculed or assaulted for being too feminine, or that someone wouldn’t be taken seriously at work if they wore an overly feminine dress,” says Hoskin. “But this is a prejudice and one that is deeply ingrained and naturalized in so many areas of life for so many people.”

Already an award-winning and well-published scholar, Hoskin joined Waterloo in 2020 as one of the first recipients of the AMTD Global Talent Postdoctoral Fellowship Program which supports disruptive research and knowledge sharing. Alongside mentors Dr. Toni Serafini (Department of Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies at St. Jerome’s University) and Dr. Andrea Quinlan (Department of Sociology and Legal Studies), Hoskin is deepening our understanding of femmephobia and creating ways for people to counteract it. Her work cuts across disciplines, including sociology and psychology, and explores femmephobia in multiple domains, such as discrimination, body image, health, relationships, pop culture, work, and gender-based violence.

Hoskin’s impressive scholarly outputs – including 38 papers, three books and numerous presentations – are helping other researchers use femmephobia as a lens in their own work. However, a crucial part of her work is getting her research into the community where it can help create meaningful change. One such collaboration is a free Femmephobia 101 Workbook which helps people examine and challenge their ideas and attitudes about femininity. Hoskin and her colleagues are already planning editions specifically for parents, youth and teenagers.

Read more about Hoskin's work in Waterloo News

Learn more about the AMTD Post-Doctoral Fellowship

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