Headshot of Sharon Young

Sharon Young

Research Associate
Department(s): Anthropology

Biography

Sharon Young is a medical anthropologist who studies maternal health and reproduction and has focused largely on complementary and integrative medicine. Most of her research has investigated these themes through the study of human maternal placentophagy (ingestion of the placenta by the mother for purported postpartum benefits), a rare but increasingly common practice among some mothers in industrialized countries. Her work, employing both qualitative and clinical methods, seeks to better understand behaviors associated with reproduction in both evolutionary and contemporary contexts, including the potential health benefits and risks of these behaviors. She is currently working with a team of student researchers to investigate how women make decisions about health care practices during pregnancy and postpartum.