About Sexuality & Society:  Sexuality & Society explores the intersections between culture, sexuality, social inequality, health, and policy, bringing sociological and interdisciplinary analysis to contemporary sexuality trends.

Why: In the U.S. and other western societies, sexuality is understood primarily in individual (moral, medical, or psychological) terms. Examples of this individualizing tendency abound in mainstream media discourses, including those concerning sexual addiction, sexual orientation, STIs, and sexual assault. In all of these discourses a contextual, social-structural analysis is generally absent. Questions concerning “under what conditions does a phenomenon become a problem, and for whom?” are relatively infrequent.

In contrast, Sexuality & Society offers:

  • critical Sociological and interdisciplinary questions and analyses with the intention of facilitating more critical and conscientious public knowledge about sexuality and sexual policy.
  • a forum for sociologists to become more attentive to sexual health and related concepts such as sexual literacy and sexual rights.
  • an accessible meeting point for students and professors of Sociology (as well as policy makers, activists, psychologists, health workers, and others) to engage in dialogue around sexual health and sexual policy.

Format: Sexuality & Society features a range of topics that appeal to a variety of stakeholders. The blog includes:

  • Blog entries by one or both editors.
  • Contributions from readers. We invite readers to submit story ideas, images, websites, videos, and analysis to Sexuality & Society. All contributions from readers will be cited. See below (guidelines for guest posts) for more information.
  • Global Sexual Policy Updates. The editors will begin with a finite list of topics (e.g., sex education, anti-trafficking legislation, HIV/AIDS policies, Marriage and domestic partnership legislation). The range and depth of these updates will depend on the editors’ time, the interest of readers, and availability of help from contributing bloggers.
  • College-level class assignments that facilitate critical analysis of sexuality.
  • A list of Sexual Health organizationsOrganizations such as SIECUS (Sexuality information and Education Council of the United States) and the Guttmacher Institute provide a variety of resources (policy updates, empirical research, position papers) useful to sexuality researchers. We will compile an ongoing list of such organizations.

Guidelines for Guest Posts:  Interested in contributing to Sexuality & Society? Here are some basic guidelines: Review the mission of Sexuality & Society (above), as well as the existing posts, taking note of form, content, and tone. We are primarily interested in stories that contain critical, comparative, contextual, and/or social-structural analysis. While this isn’t the place for lengthy in-depth analysis, you should be able to reference your story within a larger set of literature, questions, and/or debates. Editorial comments are welcome, but must be based on academic (peer reviewed) or other credible sources of evidence.

Media Inquiries: We are happy to speak with members of the media about Sexuality & Society or other issues pertaining to sexuality, sexual health, and policy. Please contact us at sexuality@thesocietypages.org.

About the Editors:

Kari Lerum (founder and editor) holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Washington. She is an Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at University of Washington, Bothell, a core faculty member of the Masters in Cultural Studies program at U.W.B., and an adjunct professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at University of Washington, Seattle. Her scholarship centers on the critical study of social inequality, with particular focus on the relationship between sexuality, power, and culture. She has published in Gender & Society, Sexuality & Culture, and Journal of Sex Research.

Shari L. Dworkin (assistant editor) holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Southern California and an M.S. in Biostatistics from Columbia University. She is an Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and an Affiliated Faculty member of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), University of California, San Francisco. Her research emphasis is in HIV/AIDS prevention and gender relations, and she has published in the American Journal of Public Health, AIDS & Behavior, PLOS Medicine, Culture, Health, and Sexuality, Lancet, and Social Science and Medicine. She also has several publications in critical media studies of health, gender, and the body, including her book Body Panic: Gender, Health, and the Selling of Fitness (2009, NYU Press).