SPARK Research! An Initiative of SexGenLab@CUNY

Knowledge is power! What do you want to know? Read SPARK Research Blogs to learn about the latest research on sexualization and other ways that girls and marginalized young people’s bodies are watched, objectified, and controlled to keep social inequities in place—and how they resist. Answer those questions with your group by doing the research with research partners from SexGenLab@CUNY.

SPARK Research! Blogs

In order to ensure that the SPARK mission has always been grounded in empirical research, we launched a monthly Research Blog in 2011. A lot of time, research done in universities is not accessible to people—either the articles are super expensive or written in a way that is hard to understand. SPARK Research! Blogs make it possible for anyone to learn about the latest research.

In each blog, we report on one new groundbreaking study about sexualization, body image, or other related topics, and we “translate” that research for general audience, especially for young people. Each blogger brings her own perspective and experience to the research she is explaining to show how research questions and research findings come from and have implications in the real world.

There is a growing archive of many blogs that you can use to support your cause, understand how sexualization and other ways that we are made to feel vulnerable, uncomfortable or STRONG in our bodies, and make changes in your school, community, online and on the ground. The blogs explain the background, methods, and results of the study, a personal and relatable tone, which helps bring the research alive and make it relevant to girls’ and young people’s lives. Our blogging team has grown from our sole initial blogger, Christin Bowman, to include Steph Anderson, Jennifer Chmielewski, Kim Belmonte, Marisa Ragonese, and Allison Cabana, graduate students in Critical Social Psychology and members of the SexGenLab@CUNY.

Read the blogs here.

SPARK Research! PAR Projects

Knowledge is power! And YOU can create knowledge about how girls and young people experience and deal with your bodies—about sexuality, gender, and race, body competence, body image, sexual violence and positive sexuality. SPARK Research! is a Participatory Action Research (PAR) initiative (find out more about PAR at the Public Science Project) where girls, young people and adult allies, in community-based organizations, schools, clubs, or other groups, can work with researchers from City University of New York to research and document both the ways that your bodies are watched, controlled or treated like objects and the ways that you do and want to fight back. What do you want people to know about girls’ and young people’s bodies from your perspective?