Dr. Jennifer Silcox

Prof. Jennifer Silcox

Dr. Jennifer Silcox

Assistant Professor (she/her)

Phone: 4468
Email: jsilcox5@uwo.ca

Dr. Jennifer Silcox (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the department of Childhood and Youth Studies and an Associate Scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute. She is a criminologist and interdisciplinary scholar who explores the marginalization of youth and the legal system, the criminalization (and victimization) of racialized populations, and the intersections of age, race, and gender, among other identities, particularly in media portrayals of youth crime and violence. She studies youth mental health and is currently partnering with physicians and researchers from St. Joseph’s Health Care London and London Health Sciences Centre on several projects.

In the community, she has worked with non-profit organizations, carrying out public outreach with women in prison and women and girls involved in the sex trade. She has also worked with youth in conflict with the law as part of their rehabilitation and diversion. On campus, she has helped with education on sexual harassment and violence, workshops on transgender inclusivity in the classroom, and restorative justice panels assisting student victims of sexual hazing.

Academic Appointments and Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Department of Childhood and Youth Studies (CYS)

Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, Western University

Affiliate Faculty, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Western University

Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute



  • Ph.D. Sociology, Western University
  • M.A. Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Western University
  • B.Soc.Sc. Criminology & Women’s Studies, University of Ottawa


Dr. Silcox has more than 12 years of university-level teaching experience and has taught courses spanning the topics of criminology, socio-legal studies, sociology, and sexuality and gender studies. She truly values the time she spends engaging with students in the classroom. She hopes to inspire and empower students to take what they’ve learned in the classroom to make our communities better. In 2023, she was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award for part-time faculty at King’s University College. In the 2023-24 school year, she is teaching: 

  • CYS 2211 - Childhood and Crime
  • CYS 2212 - Childhood and the Law
  • CYS 2231 - Childhood, Poverty Policy and Law


Dr. Silcox has a strong interest in how discourse around youth crime influences youth criminal legal policy and legislation. Her research combines legal studies, sociology and criminology, centring on age, gender, and race as she analyzes how media portrayals both reflect existing and influence development of future social inequalities and prejudice, as well as how youth negatively experience the legal system due to systemic barriers based on age, class, gender, and racial/ethnic identities and statuses. Her work has appeared in policy, criminological and sociological outlets and addresses how youth (particularly girls and youth of colour) face disparities, inequalities, and injustices navigating Canada’s youth court system and how violent youth (both Canadian and American) are portrayed in national news. She has appeared on CBC News, CBC’s Canada Tonight, The National, and CBC Atlantic, among other outlets to share her expertise on marginality, social inequality, crime, and youth (particularly girlhood) violence.

Selected Publications

Andersen, T. S., Silcox, J., & Isom Scott, D. A. (Forthcoming). Exploring U.S. News Media Portrayals of Girls’ Violence in the 1980s and 1990s: The Emergence of a Moral Panic. In Routledge Companion to Gender, Media and Violence (2nd ed.). Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group.

Silcox, J. (2023). Institutionalized ‘Bad Girls’: Adolescent Female Folk Devils in Canadian Newspapers between 1991 and 2012. Feminist Media Studies, 1-17.

Silcox, J. (2022). Youth crime and depictions of youth crime in Canada: Are news depictions purely moral panic? Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie, 59(1), 96–114.

Andersen, T. S., Silcox, J., & Isom, D.A. (2021). Constructing “Bad Girls”: Representations of Violent Girls in the Canadian and U.S. News Media. Deviant Behavior, 42(3), 353–365.

Silcox, J. (2019). Are Canadian Girls Becoming More Violent? An Examination of Integrated Criminal Court Survey Statistics. Criminal Justice and Policy Review, 30(3), 477–502.