Jessica Fields

Jessica Fields photo

Contact Information

(415) 338-0589

Office Information: 

HSS 374
Room Number: 
Online (zoom: and by appointment.
Office Hours: 
Wednesday: 2:45-3:45
Thursday: 2:45-3:45


Jessica Fields is a Professor of Sociology. She is also Research Faculty at the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality. Dr. Fields teaches courses on research methods, sexuality and education, queerness and health, social problems, writing, and professional development in Sociology and Sexuality Studies.

In 2008, Dr. Fields published Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality (Rutgers), a school-based ethnography that received the 2009 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from American Sociological Association's Race, Class, and Gender Section. Dr. Fields is currently writing her second book, The Promise: Participatory Sexuality Research with Incarcerated Women of Color, a study of the affective conditions of learning about HIV in the context of risk, betrayal, intimacy, and subjugation (funded by the California HIV Research Program, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and SFSU Center for Health Disparities Research and Training).

In 2013, Dr. Fields and colleagues at SF State (Laura Mamo), Teachers College, Columbia University (Nancy Lesko), and York University (Jen Gilbert) launched The Beyond Bullying Project, which uses community based storytelling to understand and interrupt the ordinary hostility in high schools to LGBTQ sexuality and lives (funded by the Ford Foundation). Dr. Fields also collaborates with Canadian and Australian colleagues on Affective Beginnings: LGBTQ Issues in Teacher Education (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) and is a member of the University of Toronto Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexuality Diversity Studies School Liaison Committee.

Previously Offered Courses

  • SOC 245 Social Problems
  • SOC 394 Sociological Field Methods
  • SXS 805 Sexuality, Education, and Policy
  • SXS 890 Professional Development
  • SXS 884: Advanced Methods in Sexuality Studies

Research Interests

Sexuality and abstinence-only education; citizenship and contemporary "marriage initiatives"; and youth, gender, and sexuality.

Selected Publications 

Books and Edited Volumes

  • Fields, Jessica, and Elizabethe C. Payne, eds. Forthcoming (2015). Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning—Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in the Everyday Spaces of Schooling [Special Issue] 6(1).
  • Sears, Clare, Andreana Clay, Jessica Fields, and Alexis Martinez, eds., 2010. Social Justice: Criminalization and Sexuality [Special Issue] 37(1).
  • O’Brien, Jodi A., ed., with Eve Shapiro and Jessica Fields. 2009. Encyclopedia of Gender and Society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • 2009 Outstanding Academic Reference, Reference and User Services Association, American Library Association.
  • 2009 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, Association of College & Research Libraries, American Library Association.
  • Fields, Jessica. 2008. Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, Series in Childhood Studies.
  • Winner, 2009 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award, American Sociological Association Section on Race, Gender, and Class.

Journal, Articles, Book Chapter and Essays

  • Fields, Jessica, and Signy M. Toquinto. Forthcoming (2016). “Sexuality Education in the Context of Mass Incarceration: Interruptions and Entanglements.” In Handbook of Sexuality Education, edited by Louisa Allen and Mary Lou Rasmussen. London: Palgrave.
  • Fields, Jessica, and Elizabethe Payne. Forthcoming (2015). “Taking Up Space: Gender, Sexuality, and Schooling.” Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning—Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in the Everyday Spaces of Schooling [Special Issue] 6(1).
  • Fields, Jessica, Jen Gilbert, and Michelle Miller. 2015. “Sexuality and Education: Toward the Promise of Ambiguity.” Pp. 371-87 in Handbook of Sexualities, edited by John DeLamater and Rebecca Plante. New York: Springer.
  • Fields, Jessica, and Martha Copp. 2015. “Striving for Empathy: Affinities, Alliances, and Peer Sexuality Educators.” Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning 15(2):188-203.
  • Fields, Jessica, Laura Mamo, Jen Gilbert and Nancy Lesko. 2014. “Beyond Bullying?” Contexts 13(4):80-83.
  • Marsh, Carolyn S., and Jessica Fields. 2014. “Sexuality Education in the United States.” Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies, edited by Heather Montgomery. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available online at
  • Fields, Jessica. 2013. “Feminist Ethnography: A Practice of Ambivalent Observance.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 42(4):492-500.
  • Fields, Jessica. 2012. “Sexuality Education in the United States: Shared Cultural Ideas Across a Political Divide.” Sociology Compass 6(1):1-14.
  • Fields, Jessica, Isela González, Kathleen Hentz, Margaret Rhee, and Catherine White. 2008. “Learning From and With Incarcerated Women: Emerging Lessons from a Participatory Action Study of Sexuality Education.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 5(2):71-84.
  • Hentz, Kathleen, and Jessica Fields. 2008. “Sex Education/Abstinence Education.” Pp. 429-33 in Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development, edited by Deborah Carr, Robert Crosnoe, Mary Elizabeth Hughes, and Amy Pienta. New York: Macmillan Reference USA.
  • Hentz, Kathleen, and Jessica Fields. 2008. “Virginity Pledges.” P. 432 in Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development, edited by Deborah Carr, Robert Crosnoe, Mary Elizabeth Hughes, and Amy Pienta. New York: Macmillan Reference USA.
  • Fields, Jessica, Martha Copp, and Sherryl Kleinman. 2007. “Symbolic Interactionism, Inequality, and Emotions.” Pp. 155-78 in Handbook of the Sociology of Emotions, edited by Jan E. Stets and Jonathan H. Turner. New York: Springer.
  • Fields, Jessica, and Celeste Hirschman. 2007. “Citizenship Lessons in Abstinence-Only Sexuality Education.” American Journal of Sexuality Education 2(2):3-25.
  • Fields, Jessica, and Deborah L. Tolman. 2006. “Risky Business: Sexuality Education and Research in U.S. Schools.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 3(4):63-76.
  • Fields, Jessica. 2005. “‘Children Having Children’: Race, Innocence, and Sexuality Education.” Social Problems 52(4):549-71.
  • Fields, Jessica. 2004. “Same-Sex Marriage, Sodomy Laws, and the Sexual Lives of Young People.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 1(3):11-23.
  • Fields, Jessica. 2001. “Normal Queers: Straight Parents Respond to Their Children’s ‘Coming Out.’” Symbolic Interaction 24(2):165-87.

Commissioned Research Reports

  • Fields, Jessica, Cynthia Gómez, and Belinda Reyes. 2010. Community-Engaged Health Research: Experiences from the San Francisco Bay Area. FOR KAISER-PERMANENTE DIVISION OF RESEARCH. 27pp analysis of focus group, interview, and survey data. Includes executive summary, table and figures, best practices, and narrative discussion of principles guiding community-engaged research (community capacity building, research in support of social change, and meaningful community involvement).
  • Fields, Jessica. 2010. National Public Opinion Research on New Cognitive Model of Sexuality: Sexuality as Personality. FOR AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM PROJECT. 43pp report on first phase of study of (a) arguments in favor of comprehensive sexuality education and (b) potential to develop messages that promote expansive understanding of sexual behaviors, desires, and identities experienced over a lifetime. Includes data collection and analysis design, tables and figures, and narrative discussion of controversies in sexuality education policy making.


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