Making Gender: Big Pharma, HPV Vaccine Policy, and Women’s Ontological Decision-Making

Client: University of Toronto Press (2023)

Project: Making Gender: Big Pharma, HPV Vaccine Policy, and Women’s Ontological Decision-Making, by Michelle Wyndham-West

Making Gender endeavours to understand how the HPV vaccine became gendered within the Canadian policy landscape—when the virus is gender blind and is linked to cancer in all genders—and how women’s experiences with this “gendered risk” have been folded into their vaccine decision-making.

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research, Michelle Wyndham-West explores the creation and circulation of gendered risk as it was deployed in pharmaceutical and policy discourses surrounding the roll-out of the HPV vaccine. The book contextualizes the background for how gendered risk was mediated by two groups of women: mothers negotiating the vaccine for their daughters in school-based immunization programs and university students who experienced frequent HPV infections. The book explores these women’s efforts to be good mothers and strong young women entering adulthood who felt vulnerable in sexual health negotiation. As a result, Making Gender reveals how vaccine decision-making took an ontological form, as an inherently social and cultural process embedded in women’s experiences.

Service: TEC copy edited the manuscript for U of Toronto Press style in usage, punctuation, and spelling; corrected grammar errors; and edited the notes and bibliography. Following the authors’ review of the edited text, we finalized all changes in the manuscript in preparation for production.