Jessica Huerta

Jessica Huerta

Ph.D. Candidate


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Jessica studies gender, race/ethnicity, and class in family and organizations, currently focusing on men and masculinities in marketing and social media.

As an undergraduate at UCSD, Jessica’s thesis focused on sex discrimination and sexual harassment against women in male-dominated fields, particularly the military. As a participant of the undergraduate honors research program and with the assistance from the Center for Research of Gender in the Professions, she examined the conditions where service members were most likely to speak up against violations of policy. Along with insights from the scholar community, Jessica’s research benefited from her experiences in the active duty Air Force and her deployment to Iraq.
Jessica’s work at UCLA shifted from women’s navigation of hostile workplaces to cultural representations of women in male dominated fields, specifically women in combat. Her master’s research consisted of content analyses of newspapers, sampled from civilian sources and military sources, to examine the discourse of the repeal of the Combat Exclusion Rule. The discourse of women’s role in war brings to light conceptions of gender; which activities are appropriate, or not, for women in war. The double-bind was a useful concept to examine cultural representations of women in occupations: either the media depicted women as competent and masculine or incompetent and feminine. The double-bind becomes more complicated when women are not seen as a monolith and race & ethnicity are taken into the anlayses. Media representations of women in war tend to underrepresent women of color, while highlighting white women as competent and masculine.
Current work centers on men and masculinities in childcare, particularly media representations of fathers wearing babies in baby carriers. Jessica is conducting a visual analysis of photos on social media and has interviewed fathers to determine whether they perceive the representations as authentic and equitable, in terms of race/ethnicity, gender presentation, and fatherhood practices.
Jessica recently retired from the Air Force via the California Air National Guard and is active in the veteran community of Southern California. Recently, Jessica was inducted into the Pat Tillman Foundation community of scholars who believe their best years of community service are yet to come. Jessica is also a member of ASA and AKD.


  • C.Phil, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BA, University of California, San Diego (With Highest Distinction)

Fields of Study

Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Family, Organizational Analysis, Military and Veterans, Content Analysis, Visual Analysis, Marketing and Media, Social Media, Conversation Analysis, Survey Research


(2022) “If they call me, ‘sir’: American newspaper representations of military women”, Feminist Media Studies, DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2022.2098796

Awards & Grants

  • Dorothy Meier Fellowship 2023-2024
  • Pat Tillman Foundation Fellowship 2020-2023
  • Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship
  • Graduate Student Research Mentorship Program
  • CA National Guard Education Assistance Award


Abigail Saguy