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Sarah Diefendorf

Utah SSN Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Utah
Chapter Member: Utah SSN

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About Sarah

Diefendorf's research interests include how and why religious groups shift their beliefs on issues related to gender and sexuality. She is a sociologist who studies conservative sexual politics. As a postdoctoral fellow, Diefendorf looks forward to working with LDS religious leaders and groups, policymakers, public health officials, and community organizers on the mechanisms related to Utah's alarming rate of youth suicide.


What U.S. Evangelical Voters Really Want in Politics

In the News

Quoted by Thomas McBee in "A Sociological Investigation of #NoWanks," The Cut, December 14, 2018.
Opinion: "Kavanaugh’s ‘Good Guy’ Defense Reveals A Dangerous Rape Myth," Sarah Diefendorf, HuffPost, September 26, 2018.
Opinion: "#MeToo and Sexual Violence in the U.S. Fire Service," Sarah Diefendorf (with Emily Kalah Gade), Huffington Post, October 18, 2017.
Opinion: "Despite Pussy Hats, Discussion of Sexual Violence is Largely Absent around Trump," Sarah Diefendorf (with Emily Kalah Gade), Huffington Post, February 27, 2017.
Opinion: "Secular Listening at a Brainstorming and Prayer Meeting on 11/9/16," Sarah Diefendorf, The Society Pages, November 21, 2016.
Opinion: "What Happens to Men Who Are Abstinent until Marriage?," Sarah Diefendorf, The Washington Post, October 12, 2015.


"On the Enduring Relationship between Masculinity and Homophobia" (with Tristan Bridges). Sexualities (forthcoming).
"Evangelical Responses to Feminism and the Imagined Secular" Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 44, no. 4 (Summer 2019): 1003-1026.

Analyzes American evangelical responses to feminism, drawing on ethnographic fieldwork. Finds that evangelicals create an imagined secular world that they respond to. Finds that three types of responses are the creation of a parallel, evangelical feminism, attempting to find middle ground, and rejecting feminism. Notes that the messiness of this response is an important research for further research of evangelical attitudes on gender and sexuality.

"No Homo: Gendered Dimensions of Homophobic Epithets Online" (with C. J. Pascoe). Sex Roles 80, no. 3 (February 2019): 123-136.

Examines online usage of the phrase "no homo", meaning that the user is not homosexual. Finds this is more likely to be used by men than women. Finds that while, in line with the literature, the phrase can be accompanied in the context of hostility or disapproval of homosexuality, it is more likely to be used in a positive context about male desire and friendship. Finds that the usage of "no homo" encapsulates a masculinized, but positive emotional expression.

"After the Wedding Night: Sexual Abstinence and Masculinities over the Life Course" Gender & Society 29, no. 5 (2015): 647-669.

Underscores the potential fallacy in using cross-sectional data to illustrate changes in gender relations, and demonstrates the importance of using life course perspectives when theorizing masculinities.