Public Writing

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Pink Ribbon Purge

by Gayle Sulik, Feminist Reflections on the Society Pages. Republished on Psychology Today, May 28, 2015.

I’ve been researching and writing about breast cancer for so many years that I’ve accumulated a plethora of pink-ribbon-themed items. I’m finished with the baggage. Taking control of my surroundings has been very freeing!

–Gayle Sulik, on Psychology Today

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Social Scientists Can Do More to Eradicate Racial Oppression

by Gayle Sulik and Mindy Fried, Pacific Standard, December 19, 2014.

Using our knowledge of social systems, all social scientists—black or white, race scholar or not—have an opportunity to challenge white privilege.

The systematic oppression of black people has been thrust into national consciousness because of the visibility of recent police brutality against black men. Black Lives Matter (BLM), the emerging social movement challenging this violence and the institutionalized inequalities that underlie and uphold it, has become a national call to action bringing thousands of people of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds into the streets to demand immediate changes. As social scientists, our job is to understand the social structures within society that reproduce inequities. We can, in tangible ways, bring our sociological imaginations to bear on the eradication of racial repression.

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Christie Aschwanden photoJournalist Opts Out of Screening Mammograms

by Gayle Sulik, Psychology Today, December 15, 2014.

Independent journalist Christie Aschwanden explains in the Journal of the American Medical Association how she decided (without the help of her doctor) to opt out of screening mammograms, not just in her 40s but indefinitely, a decision that is becoming more common. In the wake of changing medical protocols about a variety of tests and medical interventions, the Aschwanden case illustrates the complexity of informed medical decision-making within the context of doctor-patient interactions.

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Fracking BS CROPWhy I Voted for a Frack Free Denton

by Gayle Sulik, Psychology Today, November 26, 2014.

Denton, TX became the first city in The Lone Star state to put a legal limit on what it will permit the gas and oil industry to do within its borders. The lead-up to the vote was fascinating. But as a citizen and resident, it was scary to see a politically supported industry focus its attention so squarely on putting the kibosh on informed enfranchisement.

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NFL, Pink Ribbons Not Enough to Win Over WomenNFL Ribbon Field

by Linda Rubin and Gayle Sulik, CNN, October 16, 2014.

Does anyone doubt that the NFL’s support of breast cancer awareness is mainly a strategy designed to give the impression that the NFL cares about women, and generate more female football fans? After all, from a public relations perspective, the pink ribbon is worth its weight in gold. But there is another women’s issue, domestic violence, that touches many women and men, some of whom are professional football players. And as it happens, “Pinkotober” is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Might the NFL throw the power of its brand behind this problem?

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3 Questions We Need to Answer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

by Gayle Sulik, Chronicle of Philanthropy October 13, 2014.

Breast cancer is multibillion-dollar industry tied with a pretty pink bow. Companies strategically use the Mother-of-all-causes as a vital component of their marketing portfolios. Sometimes they just use the color, now so seamlessly entwined with breast cancer that it’s barely perceptible. Advertisements encourage consumers to buy pink, do pink, and think pink, all in the name of “awareness” and ending breast cancer forever. I’d like to see the end of breast cancer and all other cancers. Who wouldn’t? I’d also like to see real awareness.

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Echinacea w Rach IMG_5653Rethinking Pink: How This Work Started, Why It Continues

How two friendships started and fueled a hard look behind the pink curtain.

It all started with Cathy. Then after Rachel came into my life I knew the critical stance I had taken on the culture and industry surrounding breast cancer would keep going until meaningful change became a reality. Neither of these women could have known how much influence their lives would have on breast cancer activism or how their voices would continue to matter after they were gone.

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0727MASTECTOMYSUB-superJumboDecision-Making in the Midst of Medical Un/Certainty

by Gayle Sulik, Psychology Today August 7, 2014. Republished in Oncology News Australia, August 12, 2014.

When overtreatment enters the picture, public discussion tends to fracture as consumer choice butts heads with emerging evidence, existing protocols, embedded interests, and social forces. So it is with Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy (CPM) – the removal of both the breast where breast cancer cells have been found and the healthy breast on the other side.

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P20_briefing_main_268646kIs This Science or Censorship?

by Gayle Sulik, Psychology Today May 30, 2014.

There are two parts to this story. The first involves a scientific debate about new guidelines for prescribing cholesterol-lowering drugs. The second is about threats to that scientific debate, as an industry heavyweight in support of the guidelines holds court in mass media to demand the retraction of two research articles that call for a more cautious approach.

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Follow-Up: A Call for Elevated Science and Honorable Dialogue

by Gayle Sulik, Psychology Today July 10, 2014.

Amid ongoing controversy surrounding the possible retraction of two papers in an international medical journal, more than 500 people from 30 countries write an open letter to the BMJ. These physicians, scientists, and others resist industry ire in the debate over Statins.

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bostonstrongmerch_wide-c388df169805ca05b814101d6b7eb4a947d52b06-s40-c85The Cause Marketing Dilemma

by Gayle Sulik, Psychology Today,” April 24, 2014.

When a slogan is plastered on everything from fuzzy slippers to coffee mugs to promote solidarity and support a cause, consumers should consider five potential pitfalls in addition to mission match, company transparency, charity legitimacy, and the benefits of cutting out the middle-person to go straight to the source.

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