In the News

Kristin Luker in the news:

Walker and Rubio are taking the GOP presidential contest to historic extremes on abortion

Kristin Luker quoted in Business Insider, August 12, 2015

It wasn’t until around 1980, Luker said, that “abortion really became a litmus test” for the GOP. In part because of civil rights and in part because of abortion, she noted, “well-off intellectuals began migrating to the Democratic party,” creating a feedback loop that drove Republicans further to the right on reproductive issues.

Groundbreaking textbook makes the case for reproductive justice field

Melissa Murray, Kristin Luker and Jill Adams quoted in Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2015

“There were lots of instructors who were interested in teaching, but the absence of a casebook was a huge deterrent because it means you actually have to compile the materials yourself,” Murray said. “It also suggested that the field was not a field at all because it hadn’t been defined by a book.”

“Reproductive justice,” Luker said, “suggests that having a baby is just as important as the right not to have a baby.”

“The publication of this book signals the legitimacy of the subject matter as an area of study, and also as an area of practice,” said Jill Adams. … “In legal education, these cases and concepts are given very short shrift. It’s a victory to have this subject matter encased in that familiar blue binding on the shelf alongside all the other well-established courses.”

California questions corporations’ religious rights

Kristin Luker and Jesse Choper quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, November 10, 2013

Access to contraception is also part of “the politics of marriage,” said Kristin Luker…. An employer’s refusal to allow birth-control coverage for female employees amounts to “a symbolic statement (promoting) the idea that women should properly be at home with their families, that motherhood is the most important job for women,” Luker said.

What’s more, said Jesse Choper, a constitutional law professor at Berkeley and a former Supreme Court clerk, the court ruled in 1990 that the government can enforce a neutrally drafted, generally applicable law “even though it interferes with religious beliefs”—in that case, an American Indian’s belief in the ritual use of peyote.

What the ‘slut’ talk is really about

Kristin Luker writes for San Francisco Chronicle, March 22, 2012

Rather, for those of us who want families and careers, love and work, the question is whether women in this country (and the world) can be fully human, or be reduced to our ovaries and our genitals.

Kristin Luker Lauds Value of Sex Education

he New York Times, November 16, 2011 by Laurie Abraham

And for a “brief, fragile period” in the 1970s and early 1980s, writes Luker, a professor of sociology and of law at U.C. Berkeley, “opinion leaders of almost every stripe believed sex education was the best response to the twin problems of teenage pregnancy and H.I.V. AIDS.”

Kristin Luker Questions Effectiveness of Sex-Ed Classes

The New York Times, January 31, 2010 by Ross Douthat

In “When Sex Goes to School,” her thoughtful history of the sex education debate, the sociologist Kristin Luker concluded that it is “surprisingly difficult to show that sex education programs do in fact increase teenagers’ willingness to protect themselves from pregnancy and/or disease.”

Kristin Luker Disagrees with UC Professors’ Call for Staff Layoffs

Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2009 by Kristin Luker,0,7035500.story

The “staff” lurking in the background of the Cooter and Edlin Op-Ed article are disproportionately women and people of color, and they work for wages even further below the prevailing market because they lack the bargaining power of professors and the ability to pull up stakes to move to better options. More important, many of them work at UC because they have a moral commitment to what the university system represents at its best: a chance for a better future for individuals and for communities. Yet their contributions are often invisible precisely because of who they are.