Science, technology, and sexuality: New directions in the study of sexual knowledge

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The sociology of sexualities and the sociology of science, knowledge, and technology share many areas of theoretical and empirical interest, yet engagements between the fields have been limited. Work that has spanned both fields has tended to focus on sexuality from a biomedical perspective, neglecting other forms of knowledge production. This paper critically reviews existing areas of convergence between the fields, including measurement and classification, medicalization and risk, reproduction and families, politics and the state, and social movements. I offer suggestions for new avenues of research in these areas in addition to considering how greater theoretical exchange between the two fields could enrich both. I ultimately contend that analyzing forms of social knowledge making—such as law, religion, and the humanities and social sciences—and adopting a broader understanding of STS as method can provide a fresh direction in studying the production and circulation of sexual knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12669
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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