Marlyse Debergh

Dre Marlyse Debergh

Associate researcher (She/ Her)


About my Postdoc.Mobility (2022-2024)

I am a postdoc researcher in sociology. I was awarded by a Postdoc.Mobility grant from the Swiss National Foundation for a research fellowship at the Department of anthropology of the University of Amsterdam. My host professors are Jeannette Pols and Rachel Spronk.

I am also an associate researcher at the University of Geneva.

My postdoctoral project (Avortement tardif: ethnographie du vécu de femmes en Suisse romande) focuses on the experiences of late term abortion in Switzerland from an ethnographic and feminist perspective.

My research interests include health and medical sociology, ethnography, and gender and feminist studies.

About my PhD thesis (defended on June the 13th of 2022)

I was a PhD researcher and teaching assistant from 2016 since 2022 at the University of Geneva. I worked under the co-supervision of Prof. Claudine Burton-Jeangros (University of Geneva), and Prof. Véronique Mottier (University of Lausanne, and Jesus College, University of Cambridge, UK).

What does sexual health signify? My research aimed at questioning this international notion, by analysing how sexual health is put into practice in two sexual health institutions, located in the Western part of Switzerland.

The first institution was a sexual health centre for the general public (previously known as "family planning clinic"). The second institution was a sexual health centre for men who have sex with men (MSM).

Based on a comparative ethnography, I gathered and analysed different types of qualitative data :

  • Multi-sited ethnographic observations of sexual health consultations
  • In-depth interviews with health professionals (physicians, nurses, and sexual health counsellors), and patients (N=30)
  • Various institutional documents (medical protocols, information booklets, archives)


Scientific Articles

Debergh, Marlyse. 2021. « Négocier pour accéder au terrain et conduire l'enquête – Une analyse comparative de processus contrastés entre deux institutions de santé sexuelle de Suisse romande ». Revue Cambouis, La Revue Des Sciences Sociales Aux Mains Sales. Rubrique Négocier un terrain d'enquête. URL:

Debergh, Marlyse & Sophie Torrent. 2020. ««C'est une pièce qui rentre dans une autre pièce »: Normer les corps par l'éducation à la santé sexuelle en Suisse romande ». Revue Genre, sexualité & société. Genre, sexualité & société [En ligne], 24 | Automne 2020. URL : ; DOI :

Debergh, Marlyse. 2020. « Producing bodies at risk in sexual health – an ethnographic comparative analysis between the combined oral contraceptive pill and pre-exposure prophylaxis in Switzerland ». Special issue Techn, Sex and Health : The Place of New Technologies in Sex, Sexual Health, and Human Intimacy. Health Sociology Review, vol.29, n°3.

Debergh, Marlyse. 2020. « Adam Adeline, Duplan Karine, Gallot Fanny, Gonzalez-Quijano Lola, Roucoux Guillaume, et Valzema Marie-Sherley (Eds): La production de la santé sexuelle (Cahiers du Genre, vol.1, n°60) ». [Book Review]. Nouvelles Questions Féministes, vol. 1, n°39. 

Debergh, Marlyse. 2019. « Sara R. Farris : In the Name of Women’s rights. The Rise of Femonationalism (Duke University Press, 207) ».[Book Review]. Cahiers du Genre, vol. 1, n°66.  


Editorial coordination - Special issue

Ruault Lucile, Hertz Ellen, Debergh Marlyse, Hélène Martin & Bachmann Laurence. Forth. 2021 . L’Androcène : domination patriarcale, capitalisme et changement climatique. Nouvelles Questions féministes, vol. 2, N° 40.


International Conferences

July 2021. Debergh, Marlyse. " Prophylaxie pré-exposition et pilule contraceptive: quelles similarités et quelles différences?". Association internationale des sociologues de langue française (AISFL). Virtual conference. University of Tunis, Tunisia.

June 2021. Debergh, Marlyse. "Doing gender in ethnography. A feminist comparative analysis between two sexual health institutions in Western Switzerland". 8th Ethnography and qualitative research conference. Virtual Conference. University of Trento, Italy.

Feb. 2021. Debergh, Marlyse. " "Have you taken an important risk ?" A sociological reflexion on the classification of sexual health risks". International Sociological Association Conference. Virtual Conference. Virtual Conference. Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Feb. 2021. Debergh, Marlyse. "How to produce bodies at risk?". Swiss Science and Technology Conference: Multiple Matters: From neglected things to arts of noticing fragility. Virtual Conference. University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Aug. 2020. Debergh, Marlyse. « Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP): from daily management to the social construction of risk and masculinities ». Viral Masculinities Conference. Virtual Conference. University of Exeter, United Kingdom. 

Aug. 2020. Debergh, Marlyse. « Molecular Technologies, Risk, and Bodies: An Ethnographic Comparative Perspective between the Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP) and the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) ». European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST/4S). Virtual Conference. Prague, Czech Republic.

Aug. 2020. Debergh, Marlyse. « The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP) and the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) - a comparative Ethnographic Analysis, Switzerland ». American Sociological Association (ASA). Virtual Conference. San Francisco, United States

Sept. 2019. Debergh, Marlyse & Torrent Sophie. « Les ignorances ignorées de l’éducation à la santé sexuelle ». Colloque Ignorance, pouvoir et santé. La production des savoirs médicaux au prisme des rapports de domination. Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, France.

May 2019. Debergh, Marlyse.« On Being Affected in Ethnography ». ATGENDER Spring Conference 2019 (European Association for Gender Research, Education and Documentation): Feminist Teaching Through Emotions, Feelings and Affects. University of Oviedo, Gijon, Espagne.

Dec. 2018. Debergh, Marlyse. « « It is my role as a sexual health professional to raise this question : Do you have a method of contraception ? » - A Sociological Reflexion on the Biomedicalization of Women ». International Conference on Gender Studies : Gender (Mis)reprensentation. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

June 2018. Debergh, Marlyse.« Intersectionality in Health Inequalities Research : from an Ethnographic Tool to an Epistemological Reflexion ». 17th ESHMS  Biennal Conference (European Society for Health and Medical Sociology). Université of Lisboa, Portugal.

April 2018. Debergh, Marlyse. « Négociations contrastées auprès d’un centre de santé sexuelle et d’un centre de santé communautaire de Suisse romande ». Ateliers Lausannois d’Ethnographie (ALE). Université de Lausanne (UNIL), Suisse.


Organisation Of Conferences

Oct. 2020. Queer Feminist Approaches to Social Reproduction in the Environmental Crisis. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Co-organised with Carolina Topini (UNIGE), Elisabeth Sandler (University of Cambridge), and Aideen O'Shaugnessy (University of Cambridge).

Jan. 2020. Analyse et Ecriture en Ethnographie, Programme Doctoral Romand en Sociologie (PDRS).Montreux, Suisse. Co-organised with Mélody Pralong (UNIL) and Marie Sautier (UNIL).

April 2018. Gouverner les Sexualités: Construction Historique et Enjeux Contemporains, PDRS. Morges, Suisse. Co-organised with Anne-Sophie Crosetti (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

March 2018. La Politique des Ventres. Journée d'Etude Transdicplinaire Autour de la Gestion des Corps Reproducteurs. Genève, Suisse. Co-organised with Camille Bajeux (UNIGE), Solène Gouilhers (UNIGE), and Blaise Suva (Groupe *Trans 360, Genève).


Membership Of Scientific Journal

Since 2019. Member of the editorial board of the Swiss and French journal Nouvelles Questions Féministes.


Public Outreach

Debergh, Marlyse. 2020. A Brief History of the Swiss Feminist Strike. ReproSoc Blog. University of Cambridge.

Debergh, Marlyse. 2019. To Study the Production of Ignorance. ReproSoc Blog.  University of Cambridge.