Dr. Jessica Zucker is a writer with a keen interest in female identity development, mother-daughter attachment relationships, and issues surrounding the body.
Jessica Zucker has conducted research on women’s reproductive and sexual health for over a decade. Dr. Zucker’s writing on female sexuality began during her master’s degree program in international public health and continued to evolve while pursuing a master’s degree in developmental psychology at Harvard University. While there she conducted a small-scale qualitative study on female identity development and sexual health. Dr. Zucker’s doctoral dissertation expanded on previous interests and expertise in women’s health. Her dissertation is titled “The Relational Body: Vicissitudes of the Mother-Daughter Attachment and Sexual Subjectivity in Pornography”. She interviewed 20 women who work as actors in pornography in the Los Angeles area. Her writing has garnered three awards.
Jessica presented her research on female embodiment, sexual development, and the daughtering experience in pornography at the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis meeting as an invited panelist in 2008 in New York City. She collaborated with Drs. Muriel Dimen, Katie Gentile, and Virginia Goldner. The title of her paper is “Lights, Camera, Attachment: Female Embodiment as Seen Through the Lens of Pornography”.
Dr. Zucker is currently writing her first book for Routledge based on her research exploring mother-daughter attachment relationships and issues surrounding the body (forthcoming, 2014).
Dr. Zucker contributed a chapter to “Knowing and Not-Knowing and Sort-of-Knowing: Psychoanalysis and the Experience of Uncertainty”, a psychoanalytic anthology published by Karnac Books (2010) based on her ethnographic research on women in pornography , female sexuality, and the complexity of mother- daughter attachment relationships. Edited by Dr. Jean Petrucelli, other contributing authors include, among others: Drs. Philip Bromberg, James Fosshage, Katie Gentile, and Allan Schore.
Jessica contributed (2012) to a book that explores the many transitions that accompany motherhood. All proceeds are donated to the March of Dimes.
“Mom Candy: 1,000 Quotes of Inspiration for Mothers” (2013) edited by Jena Pincott published by Random House includes Dr. Zucker’s perspectives on attachment and bonding.
Jessica is a PBS blogger for This Emotional Life. Her blog addresses issues pertaining to transitions in parenting, infant-caregiver attachment relationships, and postpartum mood disorders. She is a contributing blogger on The Huffington Post in association with this PBS project. Dr. Zucker was an advising consultant in the development of the PBS Early Attachment Toolkit Early Moments Matter. In conjunction with her involvement with PBS, Dr. Zucker was interviewed by Therese Borchard of Beyond Blue about attachment, motherhood, and establishing healthy relationships. This article can also be found on Psych Central. Her writing is featured in the PBS This Emotional Life newsletters A Mother’s Day Campaign for Emotional Health and Rising Above Your Limitations. PBS’ This Emotional Life launched Pay it Forward, a campaign dedicated to creating more access to under- served families about cutting edge attachment research through wider distribution of Early Moments Matter.
The International Museum of Women showcased Dr. Zucker’s pieces “Smaller Than Before: The Politics of Postpartum Bodies” and “Maternal Self-Esteem” in an exhibit MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe. The IMOW is an innovative social change museum that amplifies the voices of women worldwide.
Kindred, a blog dedicated to conscious parenting, invited Dr. Zucker to contribute to their community.
AnyBody, an online community dedicated to challenging the limited physical representation of females in contemporary society, featured Dr. Zucker’s writing on body image issues. Susie Orbach is the convener of AnyBody. She is the co-founder of the Women’s Therapy Centre in London and New York. She is a consultant and co-originator of the Dove Campaing for Real Beauty. The author of a number of books, including On Eating, The Impossibility of Sex, and the bestseller Fat is a Feminist Issue, Dr. Orbach lectures extensively worldwide.
Katherine Stone, of Postpartum Progress, invited Dr. Zucker, among other writers and experts in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, to participate in the annual online Mother’s Day Rally 2010 dedicated to maternal mental health. Jessica contributed “On Skipping Motherhood Perfection” to the rally. Dr. Zucker took part in the Mother’s Day Rally again this year 2013 with “On Abandoning Shame“. Postpartum Progress is the most widely-read blog on postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to childbirth.
Dr. Zucker is a guest contributor to My Postpartum Voice, an award-winning blog dedicated to providing support for women and families struggling with postpartum mood disorders.
Jessica was the featured psychological expert on My Best Birth, founded by Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake, the creators of the documentary The Business of Being Born. The online interactive column explored issues related to pregnancy, birth, postpartum adjustments, and transitions in mothering.
Christy Turlington’s Every Mother Counts mentioned Dr. Zucker’s writing and dedication to maternal mental health in honor of National Mental Health Month.
Tribeca Pediatrics incorporated Jessica’s viewpoints on the spectrum of experiences in the postpartum period in “The Meaning of New Mother”.
Dr. Zucker’s perspectives on motherhood were captured in “Gratitude and Parenting” for Fit Pregnancy.
The Bump, named the top women’s website by Forbes, highlighted Dr. Zucker’s thoughts on attachment and the process of mothering in “The Power of Motherhood”.
Disney’s Baby Zone called on Dr. Zucker’s expertise for an article titled “How to Handle Postpartum Depression”.
Babble highlights Dr. Zucker’s insights on postpartum body image in “Why the Obsession with Baby Weight Hurts All Mothers”.
Dr. Zucker’s parent-infant attachment perspectives are mentioned vis-a-vis the controversial Time Magazine May 2012 cover story “Are You Mom Enough?”.
Babble reviews “The Conversation” and encourages viewers to read Dr. Zucker’s “Smaller Than Before” stating the article is “required reading for anyone who is, has, or is about to have a postpartum body.”
Psychoanalyst and writer Joyce McFadden wrote an article for The Huffington Post addressing body image issues which referenced Dr. Zucker’s piece on pregnancy.
Karen Kleiman, Founder and Executive Director of the Postpartum Stress Center, wrote an article for Psychology Today based on Dr. Zucker’s Pediatricians: They’re Not Just For Kids Anymore piece. The Postpartum Stress Center recognized Dr. Zucker’s achievements working in maternal mental health.
Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog on postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to childbirth, referenced Dr. Zucker’s perspectives on postpartum depression’s impact on attachment.
“Connecting with Baby Before Birth” is a featured article in the Fall 2010 issue of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine.