Sexuality and Gender Studies, Science and Technology Studies, Sociology of Social Movements, Social Theory


Tom Waidzunas' research interests are at the intersections of sociology of sexuality, gender, science, technology, and social movement. I am especially interested in how sexuality and gender become constituted as objects through scientific controversies and practices, and understanding the significance of sexuality and gender in the context of technoscientific professions and work. My research brings together sexuality and gender studies, science and technology studies, sociology of social movements, and sociology of work and organizations. In addition to being an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, I am also affiliated with the Temple Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program, and I am part of the Science, Technology, and Society Network @Temple University.

One thread of my research involves examiming inequalities within STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professions and education. I am currently collaborating with Erin Cech (University of Michigan) on the STEM Inclusion Study, a nationwide study of workplace experiences of diverse scientists, engineers, and mathemeticians with a focus on LGBTQ professionals. The mixed methods study is funded by the National Science Foundation. We investigate the experiences of professionals from across STEM disciplines and industries to identify potential mechanisms of disadvantage and resistance at the interpersonal, organizational, and professional levels. 

Another thread of my research examines science of sexuality and gender from a critical science and technology studies perspective. My book, The Straight Line: How the Fringe Science of Ex-Gay Therapy Reoriented Sexuality, contextualizes the current science of sexual orientation within the context of struggles over so-called "sexual reorientation therapies" within the United States. The book is a queer theory critique of scientific constructs of sexual orientation that reify rigid notions of "fixity." Looking at the ex-gay movement as a transnational phenomenon, I also trace how sexual reorientation and knowledge of "sexual orientation" have shaped the politics of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. Within this thread of research, I am currently examining ways in which sexualities have become constituted within the context of neuroscience.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • "Systematic inequalities for LGBTQ professionals in STEM" with Erin A. Cech, Science Advances Vol. 7, No. 3 (15 Jul 2021) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe0933.
  • "For men arousal is orientation': Bodily truthing, technosexual scripts, and the materialization of sexualities through the phallometric test" with Steven Epstein, Social Studies of Science Vol. 45, No. 2 (Apr 2015) pp. 187-213.
  • The Straight Line: How the Fringe Science of Ex-Gay Therapy Reoriented Sexuality (University of Minnesota Press, 2015).
  • "Intellectual Opportunity Structures and Science-Targeted Activism: Influence of the Ex-gay Movement on the Science of Sexual Orientation," Mobilization: An International Quarterly Vol 18, No. 1 (Feb 2013): pp. 1-18.
  • "Young, Gay, and Suicidal: Dynamic Nominalism and the Process of Defining a Social Problem with Statistics," Science, Technology and Human Values  Vol. 32, No. 2 (Mar 2012): pp. 199-225.

Courses Taught

  • SOC 0818 Human Sexuality
  • SOC 0918 Honors Human Sexuality
  • SOC 2575 Science, Technology, and Society
  • SOC 3396 Development of Sociological Thought
  • SOC 8111 Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOC 8401 Sexuality and Gender
  • SOC 8411 Gender and the Body
  • SOC 9111 Contemporary Sociological Theory