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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 194196 Find in a Library
Title: Missing Strand: A Feminist Analysis of Hair Testing Women in Research Protocols (From Drug Testing Technology: Assessment of Field Applications, P 349-360, 1999, Tom Mieczkowski, ed., -- See NCJ-194180)
Author(s): Carol J. Boyd Ph.D.; Joanne Pohl Ph.D.; Jennifer L. Cash M.P.H
Corporate Author: CRC Press
United States of America
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: CRC Press
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Sale Source: CRC Press
6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW
Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines the reluctance of women to give hair samples for research protocols.
Abstract: Women are subjected on a daily basis and through all forms of media to societal scrutiny regarding every aspect of their appearance. Hair testing has a different meaning for women than men, both privately and publicly. Two feminist perspectives are highlighted: liberal feminism and poststructural feminism. Liberal feminist views propose equal rights and opportunities for women and men. Poststructural feminist views are concerned with challenging and displacing dominant knowledge. While some feminist researchers might see hair testing as an objective measure, no feminist researchers would use this technology if it failed to address general feminist principles or was detrimental to women’s well-being and position in society. Hair testing of drug-dependent women becomes a political as well as a scientific issue for feminist researchers -- particularly poststructuralists. Feminist criticisms of substance abuse research often concern hierarchy, power, women’s previous exclusion from samples, and/or the assumption of objectivity. Most women recruited into substance abuse research protocols, and who may be hair tested because of illegal drug use, bring their histories of incest, abuse, stigma, and fear to the research protocol. A woman’s personal history may affect her experiences of having her hair cut and may have many meanings. Having her hair cut for drug testing may be meaningless, shameful, frightening, or stigmatizing. Researchers should consider the meaning the hair test has for a woman and the possible negative and public consequences associated with the hair test. The research will be at odds with feminist principles unless researchers can address the private concerns of each research participant as well as her concerns for protection from the public. 49 references
Main Term(s): Drug testing; Feminism; Hair and fiber analysis
Index Term(s): Drug research; Females; Political influences; Role perception; Self concept; Women's rights
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