Headshot of Georgiann Davis, Ph.D.

Georgiann Davis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department(s): Sociology
Office: CBC-B 231
Email: georgiann.davis@unlv.edu


Georgiann Davis joined the faculty at UNLV in 2014 after teaching for several years at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

She is the author of the multi-award winning book Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis (NYU Press, 2015). In the spring of 2016, she was recognized with the COLA William Morris Award for Excellence in Scholarship. At SIUE she received the 2013/14 Vaughnie Lindsey New Investigator Award and the 2013 Faculty Fellow of the Year Award. During her graduate school training at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Ph.D. 2011), she received numerous awards for both her teaching and scholarship, including the 2012 Outstanding Thesis Award and the 2009 Beth B. Hess Memorial Award from Sociologists for Women in Society.

Her research is social justice oriented and at the intersection of sociology of diagnosis and gender theories. She has published papers on intersex traits as well as medical specialization, and her findings have appeared in numerous outlets ranging from Gender & Society to American Journal of Bioethics to Ms. Magazine. She has also presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Sociological AssociationNational Women’s Studies AssociationMidwest Sociological Society, Society for the Study of Social Problems, and Sociologists for Women in Society.

Recent Courses Taught

  • SOC 404 – Statistical Methods in the Social Sciences
  • SOC 453 – Gender & Society
  • SOC 445 – Men in Society
  • SOC 795 – Sociology of the Body

Current Research Projects

  • Fatness and Intersex
    I'm currently studying the intersection of fatness and intersex, which will evolve into my second book tentatively titled Intersexy Fat: In Pursuit of the Ideal Body.
  • Intra-Occupational Race and Gender Segregation of Medicine: Mentorship and Medical Specialization
    Relying on privately obtained 2014 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges as well as interviews with recent medical school graduates, I’m examining the role mentorship plays in medical school experiences, including choice in specialization. I analyze how mentorship shapes specialization patterns, and how such patterns vary by race and gender. To date, I've completed 33 interviews.
  • Children and Medical Consent: Intersex, Trans*, Obesity, and Leukemia
    How are children included, or not, in their health care decisions? I’m comparatively exploring this interest across four different situations: intersex, trans*, obesity, and leukemia. I’ve chosen these four medical “conditions” because they offer a unique range of “need” for medical intervention. Are children only peripherally included in the decision-making process across each of these conditions, or does their inclusion vary by how providers frame each condition? How do a child’s gender, race, and/or class shape a provider’s willingness to include children in the decision making process? More generally, how do children, themselves, understand their diagnoses, bodies, and identities? What do they make of medical recommendations? How do they experience the medical profession? The goal of this research is to spotlight how children navigate medicine, while simultaneously offering them a social scientific platform to be heard. This comparative analysis will evolve into a book, but I’m beginning this project by focusing on intersex children. When babies are born, we immediately categorize them as “boy” or “girl.” The problem with this categorization is most visible in those born with intersex traits which surface as “ambiguous” external genitalia, sexual organs, and/or as sex chromosomes that deviate from normative expectations. Despite the fact that the intersex diagnosis, and surgical and hormonal interventions that follow, usually occurs when one is young, researchers across disciplines have historically ignored children’s voices (as opposed to their bodies). Intersex children are, quite simply, rarely included in research studies on intersex, but they are the ones most affected by medical protocols.