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Subst Use Misuse. 2018 May 12;53(6):901-909. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1385079. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

The Telescoping Phenomenon: Origins in Gender Bias and Implications for Contemporary Scientific Inquiry.

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a Department of Behavioral Science , University of Kentucky , Lexington , Kentucky , USA.



In an article published in International Journal of the Addictions in 1989, Nick Piazza and his coauthors described "telescoping," an accelerated progression through "landmark symptoms" of alcoholism, among a sample of recovering women.


The aim of this critical analysis is to apply a feminist philosophy of science to examine the origins of the framework of telescoping research and its implications for contemporary scientific inquiry.


A feminist philosophy of science framework is outlined and applied to key source publications of telescoping literature drawn from international and United States-based peer-reviewed journals published beginning in 1952.


A feminist philosophy of science framework identifies gender bias in telescoping research in three ways. First, gender bias was present in the early conventions that laid the groundwork for telescoping research. Second, a "masculine" framework was present in the methodology guiding telescoping research. Third, gender bias was present in the interpretation of results as evidenced by biased comparative language.


Telescoping research contributed to early evidence of critical sex and gender differences helping to usher in women's substance abuse research more broadly. However, it also utilized a "masculine" framework that perpetuated gender bias and limited generative, novel research that can arise from women-focused research and practice. A feminist philosophy of science identifies gender bias in telescoping research and provides an alternative, more productive approach for substance abuse researchers and clinicians.


Telescoping; alcohol; feminist philosophy of science; gender; history of science

[Available on 2019-05-12]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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