RESEARCH

My research brings Women’s Studies, Sexuality Studies, and Disability Studies into dialogue to critically examine the lives of people who are sexually marginalized, focusing especially on their intimate relationships and family lives. My work with sexually marginalized people has always focused on their relationships with intimate partners and family members.  The intimate and reproductive lives of sexually marginalized populations (LGBT people, people with disabilities, and people of color) have historically been the objects of public scrutiny.  Laws and customs have controlled who can marry and who can procreate, how families should be formed, and the kinds of romantic expressions that are acceptable.  My research asks how people who are sexually marginalized negotiate both policies aimed at controlling their intimate relationships and stereotypical representations of their lives in the media. In particular, I explore how those policies and representations impact their family relationships.  I am also interested in how the families and intimate relationships of sexually marginalized people are organized and how their social “difference” (e.g., disability, sexual orientation) impacts their family relationships.

Current Projects

Be Prepared: Scouting, Citizenship, and the Politics of Sexuality and Gender

I am current working on a large project that examines the The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and Girl Scouts USA. I'm interested in the organizations' dramatically different approaches to gender and sexuality.  Using the lens of sexual and gendered citizenship, my research investigates how organizational policies and member practices--related to gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation-- implicitly and explicitly shape the meaning and exercise of citizenship in scouting.  This research is being supported by a generous grant from the Spencer Foundation. Learn more about participating in this research!