Angelica Puzio Ferrara

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2022-24

Angelica Puzio Ferrara is a developmental and social psychologist at The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. Her writing and research seek to understand how gender ideologies manifest in human behavior throughout the lifespan and across cultures.

Ferrara is primarily interested in how gender norms become fixtures of our social and emotional worlds. In her doctoral work, she used natural language recordings to document how raced and classed gender ideologies are embodied in the language use of adolescent girls and boys. Some of Ferrara’s previous graduate research in The Journal of Adolescence deals with how gender norms may affect children’s and adolescents’ abilities to be direct about thoughts, opinions, and emotions with others. Together with scholars at the Toward Gender Harmony Project, Ferrara has explored the culturally situated nature of gender stereotypes in 62 nations through collaborations in Social Psychological and Personality ScienceThe Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and The European Journal of Social Psychology.

A second stream of her research investigates ideological influences on the gendered economy of work. For example, Ferrara’s research in Psychology of Men and Masculinities has addressed why gender disparities persist in occupations that have been culturally “feminized,” such as early childhood education, healthcare, and domestic roles. While at Stanford, Ferrara is also completing a visiting fellowship at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she works to understand barriers to women’s and other marginalized groups’ advancement at workplaces in the United Kingdom.

Ferrara’s postdoctoral work is Men Without Men, a book that examines boys’ and men’s friendships across history and cultures. This work illuminates how cultural conceptions of manhood became incongruent with men’s needs for close, intimate bonds, leading many men to report that they have very few or no close friends. Drawing on the voices of men and boys who defy this pattern of loneliness, Ferrara uncovers how the state of men’s friendships became so fractured, who pays the price for men’s social isolation, and how these dynamics can be disrupted. Men Without Men will be published by Simon and Schuster in the United States and Penguin Random House in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Ferrara comes to The Clayman Institute after completing her Ph.D. at New York University, where she was part of the global fellowship program at NYU’s London center. Ferrara’s writing on the intersection of gender and culture has been published in The Washington PostTeen Vogue, and FiveThirtyEight, and her work has been featured by The Economist and The American Psychological Association.