L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



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Sarah Jane Brubaker

Professor, director of the certificate in gender violence intervention

Raleigh Building, Room 2010B Phone: (804) 827-2400 Email: sbrubaker@vcu.edu


  • Sexual and domestic violence
  • Reproductive and sexual health
  • Intersectionality


B.A., Sociology, James Madison University
M.S., Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Delaware


Seminar in public policy, theorizing gender violence, sexual and domestic violence in social context, medical sociology, social and cultural constructions of health, illness and medicine, qualitative research methods

Research interests

Sexual and domestic violence, adolescents at risk, social justice and social policy, reproductive and sexual health, intersectionality


Brubaker created a post-baccalaureate certificate in gender violence intervention in 2003. She directs this program, as well as the Ph.D. in public policy and administration program. She has received federal and state grants to improve efforts to prevent sexual and domestic violence on college campuses, including a $177,000 award from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women. Brubaker has given guest lectures in professional and community settings on gender violence, hate-motivated violence and other gender and sexuality issues. She is a member of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management and American Society of Criminology.

Brubaker also serves as a reviewer for a number of professional journals, including Journal of Marriage and Family, Social Problems, Gender & Society, Violence Against Women and Feminist Criminology.

Selected publications

Identity transformation and family caregiving: Narratives of African American teen mothers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68: 1214-1228 (2006). With Christie A. Wright.

Intersectionality and childbirth: How women from different social locations discuss epidural use. Race, Gender and Class, 13 (3-4): 16-41 (2006). With Heather Dillaway.

Denied, embracing and resisting medicalization: African American teen mothers’ perceptions of formal pregnancy and childbirth care. Gender & Society 21: 528-552 (2007).

Neighborhood rituals and routines that support healthy adolescent development.Children, Youth and Environments, 17(4): 54-85 (2007). With Laurel Kiser and Linda A. Bennett.

Pack a more powerful punch: The erectile enhancement discourse of masculinity.Journal of Gender Studies, 17(2): 131-146 (2008). With Jennifer A. Johnson.

Sexual assault prevalence, reporting, and polices: Comparing college and university campuses and military service academies. The Security Journal22(1): 56-72 (2009).

Medicalization, natural childbirth and birthing experiences. Sociology Compass, 3(1): 31-48 (2009). With Heather Dillaway; reprinted in Weitz, Ruth and Samantha Kwan, (eds.) 2014. The Politics of Women’s Bodies: Sexuality, Appearance, and Behavior. Oxford University Press

A closer look at the individual and joint effects of gender and race on juvenile justice decision-making. Feminist Criminology, 4: 333-358 (2009). With Michael Leiber and Kristan Fox.

Brubaker, Sarah Jane and Fox, Kristan C. 2010. Urban African-American Girls at Risk: An Exploratory Study of Service Needs and Provision. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 8(3:): 250-265.

Leiber, Michael J. and Brubaker, Sarah Jane. 2010. Does the Gender of the Intake Probation Officer Contextualize the Treatment of Black Youth? Justice Research and Policy 12(2): 51-76.

Grange, Christina M., Brubaker, Sarah Jane, and Corneille, Maya A. 2011. Direct and Indirect Messages African American Women Receive From Their Familial Networks About Intimate Relationships and Sex: The Intersecting Influence of Race, Gender, and Class. Journal of Family Issues 32: 605-628.

Peck, Jennifer H., Michael J. Leiber and Sarah Jane Brubaker. 2014. Gender, Race, and Juvenile Court Outcomes: An Examination of Status Offenders. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice 12: 250

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