Amanda Jenkins is a PhD Candidate in the Applied Social Psychology program at the University of Guelph, Canada under the supervision of Dr. Kieran O’Doherty. Her research focuses on women’s use and practices of vaginal cleansing products (douches, deodorants, wipes, powders, washes) and the broader marketing of these products to women from a critical feminist perspective. Marketing emphasizes the ‘clean and fresh’ vagina promoting product use as necessary to ‘control’ and ‘eliminate’ vaginal odour and discharge. The marketing of these products and the internalization of these messages by women reflects socio-cultural constructions of women’s genitalia as dirty and problematic.
Amanda first became drawn to critical feminist psychology research during her joint honours degree in Psychology and Anthropology at the University of Waterloo where she wrote her undergraduate thesis on the meanings women associate with menstrual suppression commercials. Her interest in feminist critical psychology led her to the History and Theory of Psychology program at York University in Toronto, Canada. Under the supervision of Dr. Alex Rutherford, her MA thesis further explored menstruation from a historical and psychological perspective by examining menstrual invalidism, a belief in 19th and 20th century America that menstruation limited women’s physical and mental capabilities. Amanda’s identify as a critical feminist psychologist continues to be informed by the research she conducts on women’s health.