Grad Students

Rebecca DiBennardo

Contact Information

Office  Haines 105

My dissertation, “"From Pervert to Predator: Law, Medicine, Media, and the Construction of Contemporary Sexual Deviance" explores how social, political, and institutional mechanisms interact to shape evolving understandings of sexual deviance and their subsequent regulation. I use legal-historical, media-content, and ethnographic analysis to examine California’s 1996 Sexually Violent Predator Act, which legalized civil detention for violent and repeat sex offenders, and its relationship to the politics, medicalization, and social understandings of sexual predation. This project addresses both substantive and theoretical questions regarding sexuality's role in the expanding reach of the carceral state.

I also research a variety of other topics related to gender and sexualities; including queer families, sexual politics, and stratified reproduction.

Fields of Study

Sexualities, Gender, Law & Policy, Criminology


DiBennardo, Rebecca and Abigail C. Saguy. “How children of LGBQ parents negotiate courtesy stigma over the life course.” Journal of International Women’s Studies (Forthcoming, August 2018).

Parcesepe, Angela M., Aira Toivgoo, Mingway Chang, Marion Riedel, Catherine Carlson, Rebecca DiBennardo, and Susan S. Witte. "Physical and sexual violence, childhood sexual abuse and HIV/STI risk behaviour among alcohol-using women engaged in sex work in Mongolia." Global Public Health 10, no. 1 (2015): 88-102.

DiBennardo, Rebecca, and Gary J. Gates. "Research note: US census same-sex couple data: Adjustments to reduce measurement error and empirical implications." Population Research and Policy Review 33, no. 4 (2014): 603-614.

Raven, Maria Catherine, Colleen C. Gillespie, Rebecca DiBennardo, Kristin Van Busum, and Brian Elbel. "Vulnerable patients’ perceptions of health care quality and quality data." Medical Decision Making 32, no. 2 (2012): 311-326.

Grants and Awards

Dorothy L. Meier Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2018-2019

UCLA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2016-2017

UCLA Center for the Study of Women Travel Grant, 2016

UCLA Department of Sociology Graduate Fellowship, 2010-2016

UCLA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2014-2015

UCLA Department of Sociology Summer Fellowship, 2014

UCLA Center for the Study of Women Travel Grant, 2014

UCLA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2013-2014

UCLA Department of Sociology Summer Fellowship, 2013

UCLA Graduate Research Mentorship (with Prof. Kim Crenshaw), 2012-2013            

UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (with Prof. Megan Sweeney), 2012

Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Grant-in-Aid, 2011

UCLA Williams Institute Small Grant, 2011

UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship, 2011

NYU Dean’s Scholarship, 2009-2010

NYU Graduate Assistant Fellowship, 2008-2009

Louise Van Loon Fellowship for Graduate Study, 2008-2009

National Compton Mentor Fellowship, 2005-2006


Abigail Saguy, Rebecca Emigh


C.Phil. Sociology, UCLA 2014; M.A. Sociology, UCLA 2012; M.P.A. Health Policy, New York University 2010; B.A. International Studies (with honors), Vassar College 2005