American Sociological Association

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  1. Pornography Use and Depressive Symptoms: Examining the Role of Moral Incongruence

    While studies have consistently observed an association between pornography use and depressive symptoms, data limitations have precluded understanding the nature of this relationship. Drawing on data from a representative panel study of American adults and building on insights from stress process theory, this article demonstrates that the connection between pornography use and depressive symptoms hinges on the (1) (in)congruence between Americans’ moral beliefs about pornography and their viewing practices and (2) gender.
  2. Addicted to Hate: Identity Residual among Former White Supremacists

    The process of leaving deeply meaningful and embodied identities can be experienced as a struggle against addiction, with continuing cognitive, emotional, and physiological responses that are involuntary, unwanted, and triggered by environmental factors. Using data derived from a unique set of in-depth life history interviews with 89 former U.S. white supremacists, as well as theories derived from recent advances in cognitive sociology, we examine how a rejected identity can persist despite a desire to change.
  3. Sexual Assault and Identity Disruption: A Sociological Approach to Posttraumatic Stress

    Violence against women and mental illness are two of the most pressing issues in higher education. Despite decades of research, it is not entirely clear how subjective perceptions of victimization events shape distress. The current study integrates trauma perspectives and a symbolic interactionist approach to demonstrate how identity disruption and the violation of cultural meanings for identities leads to posttraumatic stress.
  4. Is Sex Good for Your Health? A National Study on Partnered Sexuality and Cardiovascular Risk among Older Men and Women

    Working from a social relationship and life course perspective, we provide generalizable population-based evidence on partnered sexuality linked to cardiovascular risk in later life using national longitudinal data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP) (N = 2,204). We consider characteristics of partnered sexuality of older men and women, particularly sexual activity and sexual quality, as they affect cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular risk is defined as hypertension, rapid heart rate, elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), and general cardiovascular events.

  5. Peer Influence on Aggressive Behavior, Smoking, and Sexual Behavior: A Study of Randomly-assigned College Roommates

    Identifying casual peer influence is a long-standing challenge to social scientists. Using data from a natural experiment of randomly-assigned college roommates (N = 2,059), which removes the threat of friend selection, we investigate peer effects on aggressive behavior, smoking, and concurrent sexual partnering. The findings suggest that the magnitude and direction of peer influence depend on predisposition, gender, and the nature of the behavior.

  6. The Social Imagination of Homosexuality and the Rise of Same-sex Marriage in the United States

    The author argues that the increase in support for same-sex marriage in the United States must be interpreted in light of the changing social imagination of homosexuality. The author measures the social imagination at the micro level by comparing the frequencies and semantic contexts in which two cohorts use metaphors and analogies to talk about same-sex marriage. Younger informants articulate them in ways that characterize homosexuality as identity, whereas older informants characterize homosexuality as behavior.
  7. 2015 Presidential Address: Sometimes the Social Becomes Personal: Gender, Class, and Sexualities

    All sociologists recognize that social constraints affect individuals’ outcomes. These effects are sometimes relatively direct. Other times constraints affect outcomes indirectly, first influencing individuals’ personal characteristics, which then affect their outcomes. In the latter case, the social becomes personal, and personal characteristics that are carried across situations (e.g., skills, habits, identities, worldviews, preferences, or values) affect individuals’ outcomes. I argue here for the importance of both direct and indirect effects of constraints on outcomes.

  8. Hooking Up and Dating are Two Sides of a Coin

    Tracy Luff, Kristi Hoffman, and Marit Berntson on a false divide.

  9. #Callmecaitlyn and Contemporary Trans* Visibility

    D’Lane Compton and Tristan Bridges on the difference between reality show awareness and real-life change.

  10. The Geography of Stigma Management: The Relationship between Sexual Orientation, City Size, and Self-monitoring

    This study examines whether self-monitoring—a ubiquitous social psychological construct that captures the extent to which individuals regulate their self-presentation to match the expectation of others—varies across demographic and social contexts. Building on Erving Goffman’s classic insights on stigma management, the authors expect that the propensity for self-monitoring will be greater among sexual minorities, especially in areas where the stigma surrounding minority sexual orientations is strong. The authors’ survey of U.S.