Leslie Fonquerne


PhD in sociology at University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès (UT2J, CERTOP, TESC)


Thesis (defended on November 2021, 08th)

To be on pill. A sociology of contraceptive prescriptions and uses in a context of ”pill scare”

Directors: Stéphanie Mulot (CERTOP, UT2J) and Julie Jarty (CERTOP, UT2J)


This thesis examines the prescriptions and uses of oral contraception in a context marked by the “pill scare” (or “pill crisis”). If, at the time of the legalization of contraception in France, the pill embodied a symbol of emancipation for women, fifty years later, it has become an object of health and social distrust, while still being in demand.
At the crossroads of the sociology of gender and professions, and the political socio- anthropology of health, three levels of analysis are articulated: the study of contraceptive journeys (micro social level); the consideration of the impact of medical and gender norms on contraceptive and medical practices (meso level); and the consideration of biopolitical logics (macro level). Interviews were conducted following the principles of a longitudinal study with young women who use oral contraception, their mothers and partners, as well as health professionals authorized to prescribe or dispense contraceptives. One hundred medical and gynaecological consultations were observed in public and private facilities.
Analyses by thematic coding and case studies revealed a typology of care practices (predominantly allopathic, sensitized, alternative) that are more or less prone to gynaecological violence and that can hinder the questioning of the centrality of pills in the “contraceptive norm”. The study of the perceptions of contraception by the entire survey population reveals a hierarchical correlation between the contraceptive methods (more or less marginalized), the health workers who recommend them, and the profiles of users.


Scientific activities

August 2019: Secondment at the Universidad de la República de Montevideo (Uruguay) for the INCASI (International network for compared analysis of social inequalities) project.

Since 2015: Member of Arpège (multidisciplinary gender network in Toulouse)

2015-2018: Member of EFiGiES Toulouse (organization of workshops, study days and international conference, feedback of activity reports)

Publications in peer-reviewed journals

Fonquerne Leslie, 2021, “‘The pill doesn’t open the fridge door!’ Medical and gynecological violence in contraception consultations”, Santé Publique, Vol. 33, n° 5, p. 663-673.

Fonquerne Leslie, 2021, “To Be Recognized in the Pharmacy: Dispensing a Contraception after the “Pill Scare’’ in France and Bypassing of (Para)Medical Authority”, Enfances, Familles, Générations, n°38.

Fonquerne Leslie, 2020, ”Care practices and inequalities in contraceptive consultations. Who’s on the pill?”, Émulations – Revue de sciences sociales, no 35‑36, p. 65‑79.

Le Guen Mireille, Roux Alexandra, Rouzaud-Cornabas Mylène, Fonquerne Leslie, Thomé Cécile, Ventola Cécile, the Junior Lab Contraception&Genre, 2017, “Fifty years of legal contraception in France: diffusion, medicalization, feminization”, Population et Societies, 549, pp. 1–4.

Other publication

Fonquerne Leslie, Zeller Justine, 2018, « Mémoires et actualités de la contraception et de l’avortement en France », Mondes sociaux, 5 mars 2018.

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