Alesha E. Doan, PhD

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Associate Professor School of Public Affairs & Administration; Political Science
Primary office:
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045

Public Policy, Social Policy, Reproductive Policy, Women and Politics, and Research Design



Teaching Interests

  • Public policy
  • Reproductive policy
  • Feminist methods
  • Research design
  • Reproductive justice
  • Diversity and equity in public organizations


Alesha Doan is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration and the Political Science Department, and she served as the Chair of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Kansas from 2013-2016. Professor Doan’s interdisciplinary research is guided by her broader interests in public policy, organizations and social equity, with a more specialized focus on the development, adoption and implementation of reproductive policies.

Her publications include articles in a variety of journals as well as two books. Her first book, Opposition and Intimidation: The Abortion Wars and Strategies of Political Harassment (University of Michigan Press 2007) examines the pro-life movement's use of unconventional political activities-ranging from non-violent to violent activities-to achieve its political goals as well as the impact of these activities on the targets of the activities. Her second book, The Politics of Virginity: Abstinence in Sex Education (Praeger 2008) systematically investigates abstinence-only education and explores how this policy reinforces and legitimizes gendered social constructions of women, adolescents, and sexuality.

Professor Doan is currently collaborating on a book, For Their Own Protection: Abortion Regret and the Attack on Women’s Reproductive Freedom. This project investigates the dynamic relationships between the Supreme Court, state legislatures and political activists to examine how policy outcomes are shaped, and in turn, This project investigates the dynamic relationships between the Supreme Court, state legislatures and political activists to examine how policy outcomes are shaped, and in turn, re-institutionalize a legal and cultural narrative of women that requires the state to surveil them and intervene to protect women from themselves. She also continues to lead a collaborative research team investigating gender integration in the military.

Based on Professor Doan’s research, she was selected as the 2012 recipient of the Outstanding Young Professional Award by the Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health Section of the American Public Health Association. Professor Doan has also received several research grants and fellowships, most recently including a 2015 fellowship from the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Warwick to research reproductive politics and policy. She was appointed Co-Chair of the University of Kansas Chancellor’s Task Force on Sexual Assault in 2014-2015, and she received the 2015 Higher Education Award from the Dialogue Institute Southwest.

Selected Publications

Doan, A., & Ehrlich, S. (in press). Teaching Morality by Teaching Science: Religiosity and Abortion Regret. New Challenges and Conversations in Reproductive Ethics.

Doan, A., & Portillo, S. (2017). “Not a Scandal: Nude Photos, Business as Usual for Marines”. Huffinton Post

Doan, A., & Portillo, S. (2017). Not A Woman, But A Soldier: Exploring Identity through Translocational Positionality. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 76(3), 236-249 . DOI:10.1007/s11199-016-0661-7

Portillo, S., & Doan, A. (2016). Porcelain and Privilege: Gender Oblivion, Bathrooms and the Push for Equity” . Huffinton Post

Doan, A., & Portillo, S. (2016). Project Diane: Integrating Military Women into Combat Roles. Huffinton Post

Doan, A., Murphy, A., Cole, M., Doerr, J., Halling, E., Mabachi, N., McMillian, J., Thomas, N., Walzel, R., Rayburn Yung, C., & Carlson, J. (2015). University of Kansas Chancellor’s Sexual Assault Task Force Final Report.” April 2015. Prepared for the University of Kansas.

Doan, A. E., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Giving Girls a Shot: An Examination of Mandatory Vaccination Legislation. Policy Studies Journal.

Doan, A. E., & McFarlane, D. (2012). Saying No to Abstinence-Only Education: An Analysis of State Decision-Making. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 42(4), 613-635.

Doan, A. E. (2011). What's Wrong with Sexy? Why Political Science Needs to Get Serious about Sexuality. PS: Political Science and Politics, 44(1), 31-34.

Doan, A. E., & Haider-Markel, D. (2010). The Role of Intersectional Stereotypes on Evaluations of Political Candidates. Politics & Gender, 6(1), 63-91.

Doan, A. E. (2009). [Review of Sin, Sex and Democracy: Antigay Rhetoric and the Christian Right]. Perspectives on Politics, 7(3), 657-659.

Doan, A. E., & Williams, J. C. (2008). Politics of Virginity: Abstinence in Sex Education, Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Doan, A. E. (2007). Opposition and Intimidation: The Abortion Wars and Strategies of Political Harassment, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Doan, A. E., & Wood, B. Dan (2003). The Politics of Problem Definition: A Theory and Application to Sexual Harassment. American Journal of Political Science, 47(3), 640-653.

Doan, A. E. (2002). [Review of the book Is the Fetus a Person? A Comparison of Policy Across the Fifty States]. American Political Science Review, 96(4), 832-833.

Doan, A. E., & Leighley, J. E. (2000). Women's Participation in Electoral Politics: Myths and Realities. In D. Vannoy (Ed.), Gender Mosaics: Social Perspectives. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury Publishing Company.

Selected Grants

Doan, Alesha , (Co-Investigator), Portillo, Shannon, (Principal), Project Diane, Women's Foundation of Greater Kansas City, $24,973, Submitted 04/03/2015 (01/01/2015 - 12/31/2015) . Foundation. Status: Funded.

Doan, Alesha, Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, United Kingdom, University of Warwick, Submitted 02/01/2014 (02/01/2015 - 03/31/2015) . Foreign (company, govt, agencies, etc.). Status: Funded.

Doan, Alesha, (Principal), Portillo, Shannon, (Co-Investigator), Haider-Markel, Don, (Co-Investigator), Gender Integration in Special Force Community: Effects on Unit Cohesion and Task Cohesion, ARO Contract W911NF-11-1-0035, Army Research Institute, $93,000, (08/01/2013 - 03/31/2014) . Other. Status: Funded.

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