Dr. Worthen has two overlapping main areas of research: LGBTQ stigma and gender, LGBTQ identities, and crime. She is also particularly interested in addressing and eliminating LGBTQ negativity, promoting trans-inclusivity, and encouraging active dialogues about consent.

Though there have been great advances for LGBTQ people in recent years, stigma, intolerance, and prejudice remain. Queers, Bis, and Straight Lies: An Intersectional Examination of LGBTQ Stigma offers an in-depth exploration of LGBTQ negativity through its ground-breaking use of Norm-Centered Stigma Theory (NCST), the first ever theory about stigma that is both testable and well-positioned in existing stigma scholarship.

Based on research with more than 3,000 respondents, hetero-cis-normativity and intersectionality are highlighted as fundamental in understanding separate but interconnected discussions about LGBTQ individuals’ experiences with discrimination, harassment, and violence. With chapters dedicated to lesbian women, gay men, bisexual women, bisexual men, trans women, trans men, non-binary/genderqueer people, queer women, and queer men, Queers, Bis, and Straight Lies brings together empirically-driven findings that work toward dismantling “straight lies” in an innovative and impactful manner.

Through its novel and critical approach, Queers, Bis, and Straight Lies is the ideal resource for those who want to learn about LGBTQ stigma more broadly and for those who seek a nuanced, theory-driven, and intersectional examination of how LGBTQ prejudices and prejudicial experiences differ by gender identity, sexual identity, race/ethnicity, and class.

LGBTQ Stigma

Selected Publications:

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2020. Queers, Bis, and Straight Lies: An Intersectional Examination of LGBTQ Stigma. New York: Routledge. *Findings discussed in The Gayly

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2022. “This is my TERF! Lesbian Feminists and the Stigmatization of Trans Women.” Sexuality & Culture

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2022. “L v. B and Feminist Identity: Examining Lesbians’ Bi-Negativity and Bisexuals’ Lesbian Negativity using Norm-Centered Stigma Theory.”  Journal of Bisexuality

Worthen, Meredith G. F. and Chancey B. Herbolsheimer. 2022. ““Mom and Dad” = Cis Woman + Cis Man and the Stigmatization of Trans Parents: An Empirical Test of Norm-Centered Stigma Theory.” International Journal of Transgender Health

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2021. “Categorically Queer? An Exploratory Study of Identifying Queer in the U.S.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy

Worthen, Meredith G. F. and Jessie Laljer. 2021. “LGBTQ+A? Asexuals’ Attitudes toward LGBTQ Individuals: A Test of Norm-Centered Theory.”  Sexuality & Culture 25(6):2052-2074.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2021. “Why can’t you just pick one? The Stigmatization of Nonbinary/Genderqueer People by Cis and Trans Men and Women: An Empirical Test of Norm-Centered Stigma Theory.Sex Roles 85(5):343-356.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2021. “The Young and the Prejudiced? Millennial Men, “Dude Bro” Disposition, and LGBTQ Negativity in a U.S. National Sample.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 18(2):290-308. *Findings discussed in Pink News

Worthen, Meredith G. F. and Trenton M. Haltom. 2021. “Fifty Shades of Leather and Misogyny: An Investigation of Anti-Woman Perspectives among Leathermen.” Deviant Behavior 42(12):1565-1581.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2020. “All the Gays Are Liberal?” Sexuality and Gender Gaps in Political Perspectives among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Mostly Heterosexual, and Heterosexual College Students in the Southern USA.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 17(1):27-42. *Findings discussed in LGBTQ Nation , Georgia Voice, Bisexual.org, and Pink News

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2019. “A Rainbow Wave? LGBTQ Liberal Political Perspectives during Trump’s Presidency: An Exploration of Sexual, Gender, and Queer Identity Gaps.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy *Findings discussed in Daily Mail, Metro Weeklyand Norman Transcript.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2019. “Transgender Under Fire: Hetero-cis-normativity and Military Students’ Attitudes Toward Trans Issues and Trans Service Members Post DADT.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 16(3):289-308.

Worthen, Meredith G. F., Annalisa Tanzilli, Chiara Caristo, and Vittorio Lingiardi. 2019. “Social Contact, Social Distancing, and Attitudes toward LGT Individuals: A Cross-Cultural Study of Heterosexual College Students in the United States, Italy, and Spain.Journal of Homosexuality 66(13):1882-1908.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2018. ““Gay Equals White?” Racial, Ethnic, and Sexual Identities and Attitudes toward LGBT Individuals Among College Students.”  Journal of Sex Research 55(8):995-1011.

Worthen, Meredith G. F., Vittorio Lingiardi, and Chiara Caristo. 2017. “The Roles of Politics, Feminism, and Religion in Attitudes toward LGBT Individuals: A Cross-Cultural Study of College Students in the United States, Italy, and Spain.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 14(3):241-258.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2016. Sexual Deviance and Society: A Sociological Examination. London: Routledge.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2016. “Hetero-cis-normativity and the Gendering of Transphobia.” International Journal of Transgenderism 17(1):31-57.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. and S. Abby Baker. 2016. “Pushing Up on the Glass Ceiling of Female Muscularity: Women’s Bodybuilding as Edgework.” Deviant Behavior 37(5):471-495.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. and Danielle Dirks. 2015. “Gender and Deviance.” Chapter 16: Pp. 277-297 in Handbook of Deviance, edited by Erich Goode. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Press.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2014. “The Cultural Significance of Homophobia on Heterosexual Women’s Gendered Experiences in the United States: A Commentary.” Sex Roles 71:141-151.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2014. “Blaming the Jocks and the Greeks? Identifying the Underlying Constructs of Collegiate Athletes’ and Fraternity/Sorority Members’ Attitudes toward LGBT Individuals.” Journal of College Student Development 55(2):168-195.

Worthen, Meredith, G.F. 2014. “The Interactive Impacts of High School Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) on College Student Attitudes Toward LGBT Individuals: An Investigation of High School Characteristics.” Journal of Homosexuality 61(2): 217-250.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2014. “An Invitation to Use Craigslist Ads to Recruit Respondents for Qualitative Interviews.” Qualitative Research 14(3):371-383.

Haltom, Trenton and Meredith G. F. Worthen. 2014. “Male Ballet Dancers and Heteromasculinity.” Journal of College Student Development 55(8):757-778. *Findings discussed in The Telegraph

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2013. “An Argument for Separate Analyses of Attitudes toward Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Men, Bisexual Women, MtF and FtM Transgender Individuals.” Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 68(11/12):703-723. *Top most-cited piece in Sex Roles in 2013.
This manuscript was featured in a special issue of Sex Roles. Warner and Shields (2013) describe the special issue in their introductory piece: “The Intersections of Sexuality, Gender, and Race: Identity Research at the Crossroads.”

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2012. “Understanding College Student Attitudes toward LGBT Individuals.” Sociological Focus 45(4):285-305.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2012. “Heterosexual College Student Sexual Experiences, Feminist Identity, and Attitudes toward LGBT Individuals.” Journal of LGBT Youth 9(2): 77-11.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2011. “College Student Experiences with an LGBTQ Ally Training Program: A Mixed Methods Study at a University in the Southern United States.”  Journal of LGBT Youth 8(4): 332-377.

Gender, LGBTQ Identities, and Crime

Selected Publications:

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2022. “Heteronormativity and the Victimization of Bisexual and Pansexual Cis Women: An Empirical Test of Norm-Centered Stigma Theory.” Critical Criminology

Worthen, Meredith G. F. and Melissa S. Jones. 2022. “The Role of Family Support in Gay and Lesbian Individuals’ Experiences of Sexual Identity-Based Discrimination, Harassment, and Violence: An Empirical Test of Norm-Centered Stigma Theory.Deviant Behavior

Valcore, Jace, Henry Fradella, Xavier Guadalupe-Diaz, Matthew Ball, Angela Dwyer, Christina DeJong, Allyn Walker, Aimee Wodda, and Meredith G. F. Worthen. 2021. “Building an Intersectional and Trans-Inclusive Criminology: Responding to the Emergence of “Gender Critical” Perspectives in Feminist Criminology.” Critical Criminology 29:687–706.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. and Samantha A. Wallace. 2021. ““Why Should I, the One Who Was Raped, Be Forced to Take Training in What Sexual Assault Is?” Sexual Assault Survivors’ and Those Who Know Survivors’ Responses to a Campus Sexual Assault Education Program.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 36(5-6):NP2640–NP2674.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2021. “Rape Myth Acceptance among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Mostly Heterosexual College Students.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 36(1-2): 232–262.

Jones, Melissa S., Meredith G. F. Worthen, Susan F. Sharp, and David A. McLeod. 2020. “Native American Women Prisoners, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the Perpetration of Physical Violence in Adult Intimate Relationships.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Jones, Melissa S., Meredith G. F. Worthen, Susan F. Sharp, and David A. McLeod. 2018. “Life as She Knows it: The Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Prisoners.” Child Abuse & Neglect 85:68-79.

Jones, Melissa S., Meredith G. F. Worthen, Susan F. Sharp, and David A. McLeod. 2018. “Bruised Inside Out: The Adverse and Abusive Life Histories of Incarcerated Women as Pathways to PTSD and Illicit Drug Use.” Justice Quarterly 35(6):1004-1029.

Jones, Melissa S., Susan F. Sharp, and Meredith G. F. Worthen. 2018. “Broken Hearts and Battered Lives: Adverse and Abusive Life Histories and Externalized Responses to Anger as Pathways to Illicit Drug Use Among Incarcerated Women” Women & Criminal Justice 28(3):167-188.

Button, Deeanna and Meredith G. F. Worthen. 2017. “Applying a General Strain Theory Framework to Understand School Weapon Carrying among LGBQ and Heterosexual Youth.”  Criminology 55(4):806-832.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. and Samantha A. Wallace. 2017. “Intersectionality and Perceptions about Sexual Assault Education and Reporting on College Campuses.” Family Relations 66(1):180-196.

Button, Deeanna and Meredith G. F. Worthen. 2014. “General Strain Theory for LGBQ and SSB Youth: The Importance of Intersectionality in the Future of Feminist Criminology.” Feminist Criminology, 30th Anniversary of the Division on Women & Crime Special Issue 9(4):270-297.

Worthen, Meredith G. F., Forrest Rodgers and Susan F. Sharp. 2014. “Expanding the Spectrum of Attitudes toward the Death Penalty: How Non-Dichotomous Response Options Affect our Understandings of Death Penalty Attitudes.” Criminal Justice Review 39(2):160-181.

Chapple, Constance, Jamie Vaske, and Meredith G. F. Worthen. 2014. “Gender Differences in Associations with Deviant Peer Groups: Examining Individual, Interactional, and Compositional Factors.” Deviant Behavior 35:394-411.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2012. “Gender Differences in Delinquent Involvement: An Exploration of the Interactive Effects of Friend Bonding and Friend Delinquency.” Sociological Focus 45(2):103-124

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2012. “Gender Differences in Delinquency in Early, Middle and Late Adolescence: An Exploration of Parent and Friend Relationships.” Deviant Behavior 33(4):282-307.

Worthen, Meredith G. F., Susan F. Sharp, and Forrest Rodgers. 2012, “Gay and Lesbian Individuals’ Attitudes toward the Death Penalty: An Exploratory Study of the Roles of Empathic Concern and Political Beliefs.” Criminal Justice Review 37(2): 239-261.

Worthen, Meredith G. F. 2011. “Gender Differences in Parent-Child Bonding: Implications for Understanding the Gender Gap in Delinquency.” Journal of Crime & Justice 34(1):3-23.

Hamilton, Melissa and Meredith G. F. Worthen. 2011. “Sex Disparities in Arrest Outcomes for Domestic Violence.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 26(8):1559-1578.

Citations

Find Dr. Worthen’s research cited in other publications at Google Scholar Citations.