Department Chair, Sociology
Department of Sociology
Additional Positions at AUDirector, Center on Health, Risk, and Society
- Kim M. Blankenship, PhD, is Professor and Chair in the Department of Sociology and Director of the Center on Health, Risk and Society at American University. She previously served on the faculty of Sociology at Duke University and at the Duke Global Health Institute (2008-2010) and on the faculty at Yale University, where she was also Associate Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (1998-2008). Research and publications focus on race, class, and gender analyses of health, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS. She has received funding from NIDA, NIMH, CDC, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Current research includes a mixed methods study of the implementation and impact of community mobilization interventions for HIV prevention in female sex workers in India (BMGF); and a mixed methods, longitudinal study of the impact of criminal justice involvement on HIV related risk of re-entrants and their sexual partners (NIDA).
DegreesPhD, Sociology, Duke University
MA, Sociology, Duke University
BA, Sociology, College of William and Mary
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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Blankenship's research interests include: race, class, gender and health; social determinants of health and structural interventions, with a focus on HIV/AIDS; community mobilization as a strategy for health promotion; drug policy, criminal justice, and race disparities in HIV/AIDS.
- Blankenship KM, Burroway R, Reed E, “Factors Associated with Exposure to and Utilization of a Community Mobilization Intervention for Female Sex Workers in Andhra Pradesh, India,” Sexually Transmitted Infections 86(Suppl 1): i69-i75. 2010
- Pouget ER, Kershaw TS, Niccolai LM, Ickovics JR, Blankenship KM, “Associations of Sex Ratios and Male Incarceration Rates with Multiple Opposite-sex Partners: Potential Social Determinants of HIV/STI Transmission.” Public Health Reports 125, Suppl(4): 70-80. 2010
- Pouget, ER, Niccolai LM, Kershaw TS, Blankenship KM, Ickovics JR, “Racial-Ethnic Disparities in Undiagnosed Infection with Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2,” Sexually Transmitted Diseases Published ahead of print: doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181d9042e. 2010
- Biradavolu M, Burris S, George A, Jena A, Blankenship KM. “Can Sex Workers Regulate Police? Learning from an HIV Prevention Project for Sex Workers in Southern India.” Social Science and Medicine 68 (8): 1541–1547. 2009
- Dworkin S and Blankenship KM. “Microfinance and HIV/AIDS Prevention: Assessing Its Promise and Limitations” AIDS and Behavior 13:462–469. 2009
- Smoyer, AB & Blankenship, KM, “Parenting on Probation and Parole.” Pp. 299-326 in Coles, R & Green C (eds), Dismissing The Myth: The Persistence Of Black Fatherhood In America. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. 2009
- Smoyer AB, Blankenship KM, Belt B. “Compensation for Incarcerated Research Participants: Diverse State Policies Suggest a New Research Agenda” American Journal of Public Health 99(10):1746-1752. 2009
- Blankenship KM, West B, Kershaw T, Biradovolu, M. “Power, Communty Mobilization, and Condom Use Behavior Among Female Sex Workers in East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India.” AIDS 22(Suppl 5): 109-116. 2008
- Hanck SE, Blankenship KM, Irwin KS, West BS, Kershaw T. “Assessment of Self-Reported Sexual Behavior and Condom Use Among Female Sex Workers in India Using A Polling Box Approach: A Preliminary Report.” Sexually Transmitted Diseases 35(5): 489-494. 2008
- Katsulis Y, Blankenship KM, “Women’s Agency in the Context of Drug Use.” In Anderson, T (ed.), Neither Villain Nor Victim: Empowerment and Agency among Women Substance Abusers, Rutgers University Press. 2008
- Blankenship KM, and Smoyer AB, “Prison, Re-Entry, and HIV Prevention,” Focus 22(4): 5-6. 2007
- Ravi A, Blankenship KM, Altice FL, “The Association between History of Violence and HIV Risk: A Cross-Sectional Study of HIV-negative Incarcerated Women in Connecticut,” Women’s Health Issues 17(2007): 210-216. 2007
- Blankenship KM, Friedman SR, Dworkin SL, Mantell JE, “Structural Interventions: Concepts, Challenges, and Opportunities for Research,” Journal of Urban Health 83(1): 59-72. 2006
- Altice FL, Marinovich A, Khoshnood K, Blankenship KM, Springer SA, Selwyn PA, “Correlates of HIV Infection Among Incarcerated Women: Implications for Improving Detection of HIV Infection,” Journal of Urban Health, 82(2): 312-326. 2005
- Blankenship KM, Smoyer AB, Bray SJ, Mattocks K, “Black White Disparities in HIV/AIDS: The Role of Drug Policy and the Corrections System.” Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 16:140-156. 2005
- Burris S, Blankenship KM, Donoghue M, Sherman S, Bernick JS, Case P, Lazzarini Z, Koester S, “Addressing the “Risk Environment” for Injection Drug Users: The Mysterious Cass of the Missing Cop.” Milbank Quarterly, 82(1): 125-56. 2004
- Pollack HA, Khoshnood K, Blankenship KM, Altice FL “The Impact of Needle Exchange-Based Health Services on Emergency Department Use.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, 17 (5): 341-348. 2002
- Heimer R, Bray SJ, Burris S, Khoshnood K, and Blankenship KM. “Structural Interventions to Improve Opiate Maintenance.” International Journal of Drug Policy, 13: 103-111. 2002
- Blankenship KM, Koester S. “Criminal Law, Policing Policy, and HIV Risk in Street Sex Workers and IDUs.” Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 13 (4): 548-559.2002
- Blankenship KM, Bray SJ, and Merson MH, “Structural Interventions in Public Health.” AIDS, 14(suppl): S11-S21. 2000
- Khoshnood K, Blankenship KM, Pollack H, Roan CT, Altice FL, “Syringe Access, Use and Discard Among Injection Drug Users in CT.” AIDS and Public Policy, 15 (3/4): 88-94. 2000
- Thompson AS, Blankenship KM, Selwyn PA, Khoshnood K, Lopez M, Balacos K, and Altice FL, “Evaluation of an Innovative Program to Address the Health and Social Service Needs of Drug Using Women with or at Risk for HIV Infection.” Journal of Community Health, 23(6): 419-440. 1998
- Blankenship KM, “A Race, Class and Gender Analysis of Thriving.” Journal of Social Issues, 54 (2): 393-404. 1998
- Blankenship KM, “Social Context and HIV: The Case of Commercial Sex Workers” in Goldstein, N and Manlowe, JL (eds.), The Gender Politics of HIV in Women: Perspectives on the Pandemic in the United States, New York, NY: New York University Press. 1997
- Blankenship KM, “Rethinking Prevention: Some Lessons from HIV/AIDS Policy.” ISPS Report 1:8-9. 1995
- Blankenship KM, Rushing B, Onorato S, and White RT, "Reproductive Technologies and the U.S. Courts.” Gender & Society 7(1): 8-31. 1993
- Blankenship KM, "Bringing Gender and Race In: U.S. Employment Discrimination Policy." Gender & Society, 7(2): 204-226. Reprinted in Common Bonds, Different Voices, edited by Esther Ngan-ling Chow, Doris Wilkinson, and Maxine Baca Zin, Sage, 1997.
- Blankenship KM, "Gender Equality: Still a Challenge to Justice," in T.M.Thomas and Jesse Levitt (eds.) Justice: Interdisciplinary and Global Perspectives (New York: University Press of America): 261 301. 1988
- Blankenship KM, "Sectoral Influences on Occupational Sex Segregation," in Simpson, IH and Simpson, RL (eds.) Research in the Sociology of Work: Peripheral Workers, Volume 2. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 69 99. 1983
- Hirschman C, and Blankenship KM, "The North South Earnings Gap: Changes During the 1960's and 1970's." American Journal of Sociology, 87: 388 403. 1981
- Blankenship KM and Smoyer A, Drug Policy: Definition, Discussion & State Variation. Policy Update, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, 2007
- Blankenship KM and Smoyer A, Sixteen Year Old Adults: The Experiences of CT Teenagers in Adult Prison, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, 2007
- Smoyer AB, Blankenship KM, The Effectiveness of Abstinence-Only Sex Education: A Review of the Evidence, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, 2006
- Dolinsky A, Blankenship KM, Geballe S, Research Priorities on Children Orphaned and Made Vulnerable by HIV/AIDS Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, 2004
- Blankenship KM and Smoyer A, Public Health, Research, and Law Enforcement: The Case of HIV/AIDS Prevention Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, 2004
- Dolinsky A, Kapoor S, Blankenship KM, Sustainable Care and Support for Children Orphaned and Made Vulnerable by HIV/AIDS Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS, 2003
- Blankenship KM, HIV-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors in Selected New Haven Neighborhoods, Report to the New Haven Mayor's Task Force on AIDS, New Haven, Connecticut. 1993.
- Blankenship KM, Street Working Women and Early Intervention for AIDS, Report to the Education Committee of the Mayor's Task Force on AIDS, New Haven, Connecticut. 1992.
- 1987, Review of Comparable Worth: New Directions for Research (National Academy Press, 1985) edited by Heidi Hartmann for SIGNS Vol. 12, No.3, Spring
- 1987, Review of The Economics of Comparable Worth (Ballinger Publishing Company, 1986) by Mark Aldrich and Robert Buchele for Contemporary Sociology Vol. 16, No. 5.
- 1987, Review of Women and the Law of Property in Early America (The University of North Carolina Press, 1986) by Marylynn Salmon for Contemporary Crises Vol 11, No 4
- 1991, Review of Wage Justice: Comparable Worth and the Paradox of Technocratic Reform (The University of Chicago Press, 1989) by Sara M. Evans and Barbara J. Nelson; Pay Equity: Empirical Inquiries (National Academy Press, 1989) edited by Robert T. Michael, Heidi I. Hartmann, and Brigid O'Farrell; Gender Differences at Work: Women and Men in Nontraditional Occupations (University of California Press, 1989) by Christine L. Williams; and Revolving Doors: Sex Segregation and Women's Careers (Stanford University Press, 1989) by Jerry A. Jacobs for SIGNS Vol. 16, No. 3.
- 1993, Review of AIDS, Drugs and Sexual Risk (Open University Press, 1992) by Neil McKeganey and Marina Barnard and AIDS: Women, Drugs and Social Care (The Falmer Press, 1992) edited by Nicholas Dorn, Sheila Henderson and Nigel South for Contemporary Sociology Vol. 22, No. 2.
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
Congressional Fellowship on Women and Public Policy, Women’s Research and Education Institute and The George Washington University Women’s Studies and Public Policy Program, Washington, D.C., 1984-1985
- Junior Faculty Fellowship, Yale University, New Haven, CT 1989-90 (one year paid leave)
- Named “one of Connecticut’s Most Deserving for 1994” by the New Haven Advocate
Area of Expertise: HIV/AIDS (social dimensions of risk, race disparities, drug use and HIV, HIV and criminal justice, HIV prevention in India), health related impacts of community re-entry (return from prison/jail), female sex workers (vulnerability, organization of work, risk for HIV and STIs), community mobilization, drug policy
Additional Information: Kim Blankenship will lead in the establishment of the university's new Center on Health, Risk and Society and will serve as its first director.
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AU News and Achievements
Kim Blankenship Launches Health and Risk Focus at AU
Kim Blankenship joins AU as professor and chair of the Department of Sociology....