Gail Bederman was born on October 20, 1952, in Illinois. She received a B.F.A. from New York University in 1978 and an M.A. (1984) and a Ph.D. (1993) from Brown University. The result of her doctoral research was Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917. The book addresses topics, such as masculinity, sex roles, race relations, and the white supremacy movement. Bederman has contributed to other books, including Gender and American History Since 1890, and has written articles for such periodicals as American Quarterly and Radical History Review. Since 1992, Bederman has taught history at the University of Notre Dame, where she is an assistant professor.