Allegra R. Gordon, ScD, MPH


Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health; Instructor, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Allegra (she/her) is a social epidemiologist who uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand the mental and physical health impacts of discrimination as well as the effects of gender norms and stereotypes on the health of young people across sexual orientations and gender identities. Allegra has worked in the field of LGBTQ health for nearly 20 years, first as a sexuality educator and HIV counselor and then in program evaluation and community health research. She earned her doctorate in Social & Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She holds an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences with a concentration in Sexuality and Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a BA in Education and Environmental Studies from Swarthmore College. Current projects examine: the relationship between gender expression and health behaviors among U.S. adolescents; the effects of the social and policy environment on substance use and health-related quality of life among three generations of sexual minorities; the links between body image, intimate relationships, and sexual health among transgender and non-binary young adults; and the impacts of weight stigma and other eating disorders risk factors on sexual and gender minority populations.

Representative Publications

  1. Gordon AR, Conron KJ, Calzo JP, White M, Reisner SL, Austin SB. Gender expression, violence and bullying victimization: Findings from probability samples of high school students in four U.S. school districts. Journal of School Health (In press).
  2. Gordon, Allegra R., Nancy Krieger, Cassandra A. Okechukwu, Sebastien Haneuse, Mihail Samnaliev, Brittany M. Charlton, and S. Bryn Austin. “Decrements in Health-Related Quality of Life Associated with Gender Nonconformity among U.S. Adolescents and Young Adults.” Quality of Life Research: An International Journal of Quality of Life Aspects of Treatment, Care and Rehabilitation 26, no. 8 (August 2017): 2129–38.
  3. Gordon, Allegra R., S. Bryn Austin, Nancy Krieger, Jaclyn M. White Hughto, and Sari L. Reisner. “‘I Have to Constantly Prove to Myself, to People, That I Fit the Bill’: Perspectives on Weight and Shape Control Behaviors among Low-Income, Ethnically Diverse Young Transgender Women.” Social Science & Medicine 165 (September 2016): 141–49.
  4. Reisner SL, VanWagenen A, Gordon AR, Calzo J. Disparities in safety belt use by sexual orientation identity among U.S. high school students. American Journal of Public Health 2014;104:311-318.
  5. Austin SB, Gordon AR, Kennedy GA, Sonneville KR, Blossom J, Blood EA. Spatial distribution of cosmetic-procedure businesses in two U.S. cities: A pilot mapping and validation study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2013;10:6832-6862.
  6. Ott MQ, Wypij D, Corliss HL, Rosario M, Reisner SL, Gordon AR, Austin SB. Repeated changes in reported sexual orientation identity linked to substance use behaviors in youth. Journal of Adolescent Health 2013;52:465-72.
  7. Narvaez RN, Meyer IM, Kertzner RK, Ouellette SC, and Gordon AR. A qualitative approach to the intersection of sexual, ethnic, and gender identities. Identity: An international journal of theory and research 2009;9:63-86.
  8. Gordon AR, Meyer IM. Gender nonconformity as a target of prejudice, discrimination, and violence against LGB individuals. Journal of LGBT Health Research 2007;3:55-71.