Melissa J. Wilde

Professor of SociologyResident Senior Fellow


Melissa J. Wilde is a sociologist of religion and inequality. She joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, where she was undergraduate chair from 2013-2017. She has published award-winning articles in the American Sociological Review and the American Journal of Sociology. Her recent book, Birth Control Battles, demonstrates that support for contraception among some of America’s most prominent religious groups was tied to white supremacist views of race, immigration and manifest destiny. She is currently working on a number of projects including: a large survey project on the relationship between religion and politics that will be fielded during the upcoming national election; an archive of historical articles on American religious groups’ views over the first half of the Twentieth century, and digitizing quantitative historical data on American religious groups that will allow her to examine religious inequality over the past century.