Jessica Huerta

Jessica Huerta

Graduate Student


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

Jessica’s research has centered on gender in organizations and families.
As an undergraduate at UCSD Jessica’s thesis focused on sex discrimination and sexual harassment against women in male-dominated fields, particularly the military. Through assistance from the Center for Research of Gender in the Professions and participant of the undergraduate honors research program, 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, particularly women in combat. Her masters research consisted of content analyses of online 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; what 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 anlaysis. Media representations of women in war tended 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 men wearing babies in babycarriers. Jessica is conducting a visual analysis of photos on social media consisting of men interacting with their children, most often wearing babies, but not exclusively. She will also interview fathers and conduct focus groups to determine whether fathers perceive the representations as authentic and equitable, in terms of race, gender presentation, and fatherhood practices.
Jessica continues to serve 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.


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

Fields of Study

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

Awards & Grants

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