Dara Purvis


Associate Dean for Research and Partnerships for Penn State Law,
Professor of Law


  • Law and Policy
  • Politics & Policy

Focus Areas:


  • Purvis can speak to family law and parenthood topics, including Roe v. Wade and the rights of transgender youth.
  • Purvis' expertise in feminist legal theory, masculinities theories, and sexuality and gender identity enables her to comment on how the law is being used to advance various sociopolitical agendas, as well as on the potential legal implications for policy changes related to these topics.

Dara Purvis is the associate dean for research and partnerships and professor of law at Penn State. She is a scholar of family law; feminist legal theory; masculinities theories; and sexuality, gender identity, and the law. Her work examines gendered impacts of the law and proposes neutralizing reforms, most recently in the context of how the law defines parenthood.

Her most recent paper, published in the Indiana Law Journal, explores gendered discrepancies in the law with regard to ‘parenthood’ and ‘personhood,’ using examples of cases involving assisted reproductive technologies and statutory rape, among others. Purvis recommends policy changes that may help courts settle disputes related to these topics.

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