"​None could confirm that Helen Wilson had ever earned a PhD from their program."

Helen Wilson, author of a viral study on "​rape culture" in dog parks, appears to have fabricated her credentials.

In Nov. 2017 Wilson, supposedly a PhD scholar in Feminist Studies, submitted a study to The Journal of Feminist Geography titled “Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon.” The study, published in 2018, studied the sexual behavior of pets in a dog park as a "microcosm" form the "rape culture" perpetuated by human males.

But Campus Reform ​reported on Wednesday that, after contacting each of the four academic institutions in the US that offers a PhD in Feminist Studies, it found none who could confirm that Wilson had ever completed its program.

Wilson also claimed to serve as the lead researcher of the "Portland Ungendering Research Initiative." However, the PURI's website was launched only four days after Wilson submitted her research, and seems to be in a perpetual state of being taken down "due to safety concerns."


Campus Reform was unable to locate any other academics involved with PURI.

spokesperson for the ​Journal of Feminist Geography told Campus Reform that Wilson does “exist,” but said they had no record of which institution Wilson earned her PhD from, nor could they confirm the existence of the PURI.

Campus Reform spoke to Wilson directly via email, but the conversation ended when she was asked if she could verify her PhD.

Wilson's study took account of “nearly 1000 hours" of ​dogs and their human companions at three public dog parks in Portland. It concluded that there was “one dog rape/humping incident every 60 minutes.”

“Dog parks are microcosms where hegemonic masculinist norms governing queering behavior and compulsory heterosexuality can be observed in a cross-species environment,” Wilson's study said.

Her study claimed that “oppressive patriarchal norms reach a zenith in dog parks, rendering them not only gendered spaces but spaces that exhibit and magnify toxic…themes intrinsic to gender binaries.”

She recommended that owners do a better job ​disciplining their dogs, in order to discourage their "oppressive" habits. She also suggested that since shouting at dogs has a positive effect, society might want to try the same on human males.