• Happy New Year 2020
    BLOG

    Highlights from a Decade of Research and Action

    January 2020

    Layli Maparyan, Ph.D., executive director of WCW, reflects on our top 10 moments of the 2010s.

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  • New Initiative Supports Mental Wellbeing in College Students
    NEWS

    New Initiative Supports Mental Wellbeing in College Students

    December 2019

    A WCW research team conducts a pilot study to develop a depression prevention program for Wellesley College students.

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  • Fathers Have a Role to Play in Their Teens' Sexual Health
    NEWS

    Fathers Have a Role to Play in Their Teens' Sexual Health

    December 2019

    A journal article co-authored by Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D., explores how fathers can positively contribute to their teenage child’s sexual health.

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  • Social and Emotional Learning Supports Restorative Justice
    NEWS

    Social and Emotional Learning Supports Restorative Justice

    December 2019

    Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, M.A., CAGS, shares why she believes social and emotional learning is critical for effective implementation of restorative justice practices.

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  • WCW Community Celebrates New Book by Peggy McIntosh
    NEWS

    WCW Community Celebrates New Book by Peggy McIntosh

    December 2019

    Members of the WCW community gathered to celebrate the publication of a new book by activist and changemaker Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D.

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  • Research Study Highlights Challenges to Child Sexual Abuse Prosecution
    NEWS

    Research Highlights Challenges to Prosecuting Child Sexual Abuse

    December 2019

    A recent study from our Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative details challenges related to the prosecution of child sexual abuse cases.

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  • Women's Review of Books
    NEWS

    The Feminist Press is 50!

    January 2020

    The new issue of Women's Review of Books celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Feminist Press and features an interview with its co-founder Florence Howe, a leader of the contemporary feminist movement.

    Preview now>>
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The

Wellesley Centers for Women

is a research and action institute at Wellesley College that is focused on women and gender and driven by social change.
Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high-quality research, theory, and action programs.

PROJECTS

Give

A World That Is Good for Women Is Good for Everyone TM

GO TO GIVE

Wellesley Centers for Women

Human Rights Activists From West Africa Visit WCW

Research & Action Report Spring/Summer 2004

international work  In early February, Molly Melching, executive director of Tostan, a Senegal-based nongovernmental organization, and Kerthio Diarra, a Senegalese village woman and human rights activist, visited the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Melching and Diarra spent two days at the Centers meeting and talking with WCW staff before continuing on to Washington, D.C., and a congressional briefing on female genital cutting (FGC). The congressional hearings were scheduled for February 6, a day designated to recognize international efforts to end FGC and raise awareness about the issue; February 6 also marked 13 years of work for Tostan.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Empowering Girls: Nigerian Activists Focus on Gender and Sexuality

international work  By Deborah L. Tolman
Last May, I met with an international group of women who provide reproductive-health and sexuality-education services to adolescent girls in developing countries with support from the International Women’s Health Coalition.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Students at the Centers

Students are a vivid presence throughout the three buildings that house the Wellesley Centers for Women—at the copy machine, at computers, and at the reception desk. Each year, WCW hires approximately 70 students in a variety of clerical and research positions.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Uncovering Links Between Childhood Abuse and Delinquency in Girls

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According to National estimates, every year more than 700,000 adolescent girls are arrested and brought into the juvenile-justice system. In fact, today, adolescent girls comprise about 28% of all juvenile arrests. Have girls become increasingly more violent in recent years? Is the violent behavior of girls different from that of boys? Do girls need different criminal-justice-system responses to help them cope with the problems they face? And, since many of these girls have experienced abuse in childhood, is there a link between childhood abuse and adolescent delinquency?

Wellesley Centers for Women

Add Drama, Multiply Interest: A New Way to Teach Math

Making mathematics interesting to young children has been an ongoing challenge faced by parents, teachers, and other education professionals for years. The problem is that children are asked to do abstract mathematical activities that have little intrinsic meaning for them. As a result, children often remain disengaged. Even the attempts to bring in “relevant” or “real world” examples—such as how many cookies each child will get or how long would you have to wait in line—are still not compelling enough to engage a young mind.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A With WCW Postdoctoral Research Fellows

The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) has three postdoctoral research positions sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). In the summer of 2004 researchers were selected and matched with a mentor. During their two-year tenure at WCW, the fellows receive training in a variety of skills ranging from methodology to preparing a manuscript for publication and writing grant proposals. The program is designed to prepare the junior researchers to become senior scholars in the study of childhood and adolescence, with special emphasis on how race and ethnicity, gender, and social class interact with risk and resilience factors in human development. Fellows can collaborate with their mentors on externally funded research projects and can initiate independent research conducted under the guidance of their mentor. Sumru Erkut is working with Michelle Bragg, Linda Williams is teamed with Diane Purvin, and Nancy Marshall is partnered with Jasmine Waddell.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Reaffirming Rights in Our Nation's Schools

Welcome to the post-Columbine world of zero-tolerance school discipline. Zero tolerance means one strike and you’re out, no matter what. Schools are quick to suspend students for anything that could be deemed a weapon, a drug, or a threat, and the result is that students are being controlled in ways that shred their Constitutional rights. Students have been suspended for papers they have written, thoughts they have had, and drawings they have created (Commonwealth v. Milo, M., 433 Mass. 149 [2001]). Elementary-school children have been suspended for comments made in the heat of a touch football game or in response to a teacher denying permission to go to the bathroom, comments that schools characterized as "death threats." In a case from Jonesboro, Arkansas, an eight year-old boy was suspended for pointing a chicken nugget toward a teacher and saying "Pow, pow."

Wellesley Centers for Women

Jean Baker Miller Training Institute: 10th Anniversary

The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The Institute is dedicated to the exploration of new models of human strength based on empathy, compassion, and contribution to social justice. Working at both the micro and macro levels, the Institute supports individual change while working for social transformation. The 2005 anniversary year brings deep gratitude for all who have joined in the work, a sense of pride in the accomplishments, and a daunting awareness of what still needs to be done.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Yet again? Women and science, the discussion goes on . . . and on . . .

Harvard President Lawrence Summers drew a storm of criticism this past winter when he spoke about the dearth of top-level women scientists and engineers and suggested that innate sex differences influence achievement in these fields. His somewhat belated explanation that he had intended to provoke discussion, not advance a hypothesis, did little to quell the furor. Summers' remarks and the debate and discussion they ignited are but the tip of the iceberg. Despite years of genuine progress for women in scientific and technological fields, misconceptions about women's abilities and subtle barriers to their progress remain. The interactions and interconnections among biological similarities and differences, environmental factors and cultural assumptions, are complex and difficult to unravel. But regarding questions of when, why, and how women do or do not advance in science, the old "biology is destiny" thesis is clearly not supported by the evidence.

Wellesley Centers for Women

How Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage Has Influenced Massachusetts Couples

In November of 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the exclusion of same-sex couples from the institution of marriage was discordant with existing constitutional principles. In 2004, after the ruling went into effect, the Same-sex Marriage Study Group formed at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Faced with the unique opportunity to study how the recent legalization of samesex marriage affected gay and lesbian couples in Massachusetts, the group designed the Exploratory Study of Same-sex Marriage. Through the study, the team sought to explore the diversity of experiences along the lines of gender, race/ethnicity, and parenting status. The study also examined how children in same-sex-parented families perceived and experienced this social change.

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