Welcome to the Sex and Gender Section of the American Sociological Association

SEX-AND-GENDER-LOGO-FINAL-COLOR-7-9-2015-HIGH-RESThe Sex and Gender Section of the American Sociological Association is an incredible collection of sociologists studying just about every aspect of sex and gender that you can imagine.  Check out our latest newsletter for more information on who we are and what we’re doing.

The Sex and Gender Section is one of the largest sections in the American Sociological Association. Broadly speaking, we are interested in teaching and studying organized patterns of gendered relations. This means that little is off limits to sociologists of sex and gender.  Many sociologists of sex and gender are also fascinated by aspects of gender in social life some might deem “controversial.” And we are constantly growing and examining new aspects of sex and gender throughout social life.  We embrace this controversy and see our section’s presence on social media as a part of that commitment. As both policy and practice, our aim is to support dialogue among members of the section. This does not mean that the section is officially endorsing anything and everything that is posted. Rather, we see our social media presence as providing material for dialogue and as a space within which that dialogue can occur.

See our Mission Statement and view our Section Bylaws for more information.

If you are interested in joining the section, log in to the ASA member portal and add our section to your membership. If you are not a current ASA member, you can join here.

The 2017 ASA Sex and Gender Sticker

Sex and Gender Sticker 2017

From the Newsletter

Message from the ChairJuly2017news

by Jennifer Reich

As I write my last letter as Chair of the section, I do so with gratitude for the experience of serving in this role and excitement that I will see so many of you soon at the annual meeting. I also cannot help and think about the past year, which I would say has been among the most politically tumultuous and emotionally challenging—as a scholar, feminist, parent, teacher, and community member—I can remember. I confess to mornings driving with tears in my eyes as I listened to news and challenging evenings trying to explain the inexplicable political moment to my children. I know we have each faced our own challenges since November and have struggled some days to keep moving.
Yet, over the past year, I have watched our section members lead. You have organized protests, engaged in policy debates, volunteered in your community, added your voices on blogs, your expertise in interviews and on social media, and acted as pillars for students who feel newly vulnerable. I have never felt more proud to be among you and I have derived inspiration and strength from you.

Read more starting on page 1 of our newsletter.


By Anna Muraco

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults, which is those 50 and older, have been historically marginalized and often is addressed as a homogeneous group; yet they are quite diverse in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity, age cohort, race, and many other factors.

The National Health, Aging, and Sexuality Study has addressed the complexity of LGBT older adults by conducting the first study to be funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), which is housed under the National Institutes of Health; the Principal Investigator on the study is Professor Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington and I was a co-Investigator and the sole sociologist working on the research team. Our work has examined the important life events, informal and formal supports, health disparities, and other facets of LGBT older adults’ lives (people aged 50 and older). In 2010, the project coordinators collaborated with 11 community organizations across the United States and surveyed 2,560 LGBT midlife and older adults ages 50 and older. Inclusion criteria were that participants self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, were aged 50 or older, and engaged in sexual behavior or were in a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex or gender. The research team has produced dozens of articles on a range of topics, a majority based on quantitative survey findings from the study, and has been awarded additional grants from the NIA to collect longitudinal data and continue working with the data. Nearly all publications from the study have links to the full text articles on the project website.

Read some of the findings on page 9 of our newsletter.

Book Preview: Where Will the Millennials Take Us: A New Generation Wrestles with the Gender Structure. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming 2017

By Barbara J. Risman

The resurgence of cultural sociology toward the end of the 20th Century has brought questions of meaning back into theories concerned with the social structure. Swidler’s (1986) argument that we conceptualize culture as a tool kit clarifies the importance of culture without defining culture as opposed to structure, but as one important component of it. We have toolboxes of cultural knowledge at our fingertips, to help make sense of the world around us; the knowledge exists whether or not it is internalized as aspects of the self. Sometimes this knowledge is so common as to become habit. Beland (2009) has shown how gender scholars (such as Stryker and Wald 2009 and Padamsee 2009) have contributed to understanding the importance of ideas on social policy, as gender ideology plays an important role in understanding cross-national variation.

Read more on page 5 of our newsletter.

Section on Sex and Gender
American Sociological Association
Copyright 2017