Dr. Fennell’s areas of interest include fertility and family planning, sex and gender, family, and classical and feminist theory. Her research agenda has been driven by a desire to help minimize unintended pregnancy, with a focus on the U.S. In particular, she has looked at the way men in couples contribute to contraceptive decisions. Her dissertation utilized in-depth interviews with 30 male-female couples to better understand the way that the pairs made decisions about contraceptive use and method choice. These interviews led her to the unanticipated discovery that withdrawal use (coitus interruptus) is probably far more common than many survey measures are able to pick up.
As a teacher, Dr. Fennell particularly enjoys teaching introductory sociology since it provides her with an opportunity to introduce new groups of students to the sociological imagination. However, her favorite class to teach is Sex and American Culture, because it seems like just about everyone is interested in sex.