Keynote Speaker CJ Pascoe

CJ Pascoe is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, where she teaches courses on sexuality, masculinity, social psychology, and gender. Her current research focuses on masculinity, youth, homophobia, sexuality and new media.

Her book, Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School, won the American Educational Research Association’s 2007 Book of the Year Award as well as an honorable mention for the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sex and Gender’s Distinguished Book Award. Dr. Pascoe spent a year and a half observing and interviewing several adolescent boys with a view to understanding how they understand their own masculinity. She concludes
that the males in her study police each other’s behavior by calling their peers “fags” when they exhibit behaviors outside a narrow and brutal code of masculinity.

“To call someone gay or fag is like the lowest thing you can call someone. Because that’s like saying that you’re nothing,” is how one teenage boy put it to Pascoe. In Dude, CJ suggests ways we might begin to redefine gender norms that are damaging to both boys and girls.

CJ’s research has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Toronto Globe and Mail, American Sexuality Magazine and Inside Higher Ed. She has appeared in the Frontline documentary Growing Up Online as well as on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Dr. Pascoe is currently working on three projects: conducting fieldwork for her new book on youth cultures, examining homophobia in online spaces, interviewing GLBTQ young people about their life experiences, as well as writing about contemporary shifts in definitions and understandings of masculinity and homophobia.