Research

This page collects announcements of my scientific research on all topics.

New data: gay bars and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.

This report is currently undergoing peer review but the preprint with data table is freely available at SocArxiv. Abstract: “What was the impact on gay bars of COVID-19 public closure orders? Gay bars were already quite vulnerable, retaining only 63.4% of their business listings from 2007 to 2019. Historic data from printed business guides were […]

Chapter: The changing role of gay bars in American LGBTQ+ life

In Introducing the New Sexuality Studies 4th Edition, released June 2022. “Gay bars are iconic in part because they are the most common and accessible LGBTQ+ places, but they are in decline. About one third of gay bars closed in the 2010s, but new ones continued to open to serve their communities as one of […]

Chapter: Update to “Style and the Value of Gay Nightlife: Homonormative Placemaking in San Francisco”

I updated my 2015 piece in Urban Studies for Christopher T. Connor and Daniel Okamura’s edited volume, The Gayborhood: From Sexual Liberation to Cosmopolitan Spectacle. “Reductionist conceptions of gay nightlife and the neighbourhoods they anchor have obscured their diversity amid claims of gentrification or displacement. The divergent trajectories of San Francisco’s three gay bar districts […]

Article: Responding to Wobbly Classrooms through Scaffolded, Peer-Led, Small-Group Presentations of Personal Learning Goals: The Beyond the Book Tool

This article in Teaching Sociology discusses a pedagogical technique I developed while teaching my SOCI/GSFS 203: Sociology of Sexuality. Teaching topics that implicate student identities, traumas, and/or activism is challenging because students often come with very personal attachments to curricular and extracurricular topics, such as in courses on sexualities, race, gender, and/or social movements. These […]

Article: Are gay bars closing? Some data.

My undergraduate research assistants and I built a dataset to try to figure out if, where, and why gay bars are closing. The first piece is short, snappy, and open access on Socius. It’s less easy to click to, but the piece has a lengthy methodological appendix that contains the data table and lots of […]

Article: Gaydar and the fallacy of decontextualized measurement

This freely available article, with Andrew Gelman and Daniel Simpson, came grew out of a blog post of mine that went viral when reposted by Scatterplot. “Recent media coverage of studies about “gaydar,” the supposed ability to detect another’s sexual orientation through visual cues, reveal problems in which the ideals of scientific precision strip the […]

Article: “Weaponization”: The Metaphor That Rejects Politics

N.B.: This post is now published at Metaphor and Symbol. The scandal about Cambridge Analytica’s theft of Facebook data for political marketing is often described as the “weaponization of social media.” On March 25, 2018, Meet the Press‘ Chuck Todd asked Senator Mark Warner if Steve Bannon’s company was designed “to weaponize something that we weren’t […]

Article: Small City Gay Bars, Big City Urbanism

N.B. This piece became a peer-reviewed journal article in 2020, available here); it was City & Community’s fourth most downloaded article of 2021. Just presented at the Eastern Sociological Society in the Small Cities miniconference. The slides for my presentation are here. They detail the 9 ways that small city gay bars are different from […]

Learning from Pulse, Listening to Latinx Queers

[This piece is an excerpt from the book I’m writing on changes in gay bars–written as it was for print media, it has a works cited rather than hyperlinks.] In 2016, two gay bars became national monuments, one in the early hours of June the 12th in Orlando, Florida. The way we learned of the […]

Digital project: Mapping lost lesbian bars, 2006-2016

I just finished the first draft of a map of all lesbian bars in the U.S. and Canada that closed from 2006 until now. It may not be the most depressing map of the 21st century, but it is seriously sobering: The  Map depicts 93 100 addresses (as of 9/27/2016) that no longer are lesbian […]

Article: Parenting transgender children in PFLAG

Published with Taylor L. Field in The Journal of GLBT Family Studies. Parents of transgender children (N=14) recounted four ways in which their parenting experiences were more difficult and isolating than those of other parents of a national GLBT support organization: the physical changes their children undergo, the lack of media representations of transgender lives, […]

Chapter: Sociologies of (in)security

This chapter was written with Lisa Stampnitzky for the edited volume by Philippe Bourbeau. Preprint available here. “In contrast to other disciplines, “security” has not traditionally been a central focus of sociological research. This is not to say that sociologists have not studied problems, sites, interactions, and discourses that are relevant to what has elsewhere […]

Book: How prostitution presaged the failure of Europe

My book The Cultural Politics of European Prostitution Reform: Governing Loose Women was published by Palgrave in 2016. Is the European Project Falling Apart? asks one of several headlines as the European refugee crisis moves into chronic mode. Where the Greek debt crisis exposed the problems of the Eurozone currency union, the refugee crisis shows how […]

Bar Districts as Subcultural Amenities

Finally my bar research sees the light of day in City, Cuture and Society 6(1). Bar districts, agglomerations of drinking establishments, are important to urban economies by nurturing urban subcultures. Their vernacular nature presents important contrasts to planned urban entertainment districts (UEDs). Unlike UEDs, bar districts are not necessarily amenities for middle- and upper-class consumption […]

Article: The Gender Gap in Reported Homosexuality

An article of mine in the International Journal Advances in Social Science and Humanities 2(10) 20-26. Men consistently report higher rates of homosexual behavior and identity than women in national population surveys of sexuality, a gender gap that has received little attention. Though women express similar levels of same-sex desire, they are far less likely […]

State of the Field: Sex Work / Trafficking

I was fortunate to be part of an amazing team to craft a position paper on prostitution, sex work, and human trafficking during the 2012 Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association conference Crossing Boundaries, Workshopping Sexualities. So in keeping with Valentine’s Day: Brents et al 2012 State of the Field Working Paper Sex Work […]

Book review of The State of Sex by Brents, Jackson & Hausbeck

A Review of: “The State of Sex: Tourism, Sex and Sin in the New American Heartland. By Barbara G. Brents, Crystal A. Jackson, and Kathryn Hausbeck” New York, NY: Routledge, 2009, 320 pages. Paperback, $28.76. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2011.

Article: Is America fragmenting?

Published in the Annual Review of Sociology in 2009, it was cited in The New York Times in 2010. “The view that America is fragmenting is popular among both pundits and academics and may well be endemic to American culture. We review claims that between 1970 and 2005 American society fragmented along lines of cultural […]

Article: Urban ethnography’s “saloon problem” and its challenge to public sociology

This was my first article which presaged my interest in bars. And, given that the Anti-Saloon League was founded there, it presaged my interest in Oberlin, Ohio. “This essay assesses the legacy of urban ethnography’s (UE) early engagement with the “saloon problem.” Early sociologists (1880–1915) intervened in the national debate on alcohol on the basis […]

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