Sociology of Guns Module 7: Gender, Sexuality, and Guns

Module 6 is not covered in these posts because it is a work week for students as I will be presenting on Gun Culture 2.0 at the Outdoor Writers Association of America annual conference in Vermont that week.

Recognizing that the four parts of the Holy Quaternity of sociology (race, class, gender, and sexuality) intersect, the existing scholarly literature doesn’t permit a fully intersectional analysis. So, having treated race and guns in Module 5, I consider gender and sexuality separately in Module 7.

There is more scholarly work on gender and guns than sexuality, especially if we include the common focus on hegemonic masculinity. But, as I have noted previously, I was pleased to include the first ever peer-reviewed sociological study of LGBT gun owners in a special issue of a journal I co-edited and I will certainly assign that article.

Required readings for Module 7 are:

Recommended readings for Module 7 are:

  • Jennifer Carlson, “Mourning Mayberry: Guns, Masculinity, and Socioeconomic Decline.” Gender & Society (2015). Article version of Citizen-Protectors book argument: downwardly mobile white men reassert their masculinity via gun carrying.
  • Laura Browder, Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America (2006). “Iconic women with guns have challenged and yet reinforced the masculinist ideal of America — that guns are inextricably tied to both masculinity and American identity.”
  • Scott Melzer, Gun Crusaders: The NRA’s Culture War (2009). The NRA and its members fight a culture war on behalf of the ideology of frontier masculinity which is at the heart of American gun culture.
  • Connie Hassett-Walker, “Women in Online Gun Subculture,” in Guns on the Internet (2019). Women’s involvement in online gun subculture “signal and reinforce the subculture’s (masculine) norms and values.”
  • Martha McCaughey, “Getting Mean: On the Scene in Self-Defense Classes,” in Real Knockouts: The Physical Feminism of Women’s Self-Defense (1997). Early and rare study of armed self-defense as a feminist enterprise.
  • David Yamane, Riley Satterwhite, and Paul Yamane, “A Woman’s Place in Gun Advertisements: The American Rifleman, 1920-2019,” in Understanding American Gun Culture, 2nd Edition (2021). Systematically analyzes the portrayal of gender in gun advertisements over a 100 year time period and finds a more complicated story than expected from many theories of hegemonic masculinity in gun culture.
  • Tomsich, Elizabeth A., Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, Rocco Pallin, and Garen J. Wintemute. “Firearm Ownership Among LGBT Adults in California.” Violence and Gender (2020). 6% to 11% of LGBT adults in California personally own guns and 12% to 20% of LGBT households have guns in them. From the abstract: “Most LGBT owners owned a single firearm for purposes of self-protection; almost one in three reported carrying a loaded handgun in the prior month.”

I don’t take the recommended readings to be comprehensive or complete. Suggestions are welcome.

4 thoughts on “Sociology of Guns Module 7: Gender, Sexuality, and Guns

  1. Pingback: Collected Posts on Sociology of Guns Seminar | Gun Curious

  2. Pingback: Collected Posts on Sociology of Guns Seminar | Gun Curious

  3. Pingback: Collected Posts on Sociology of Guns Seminar | Gun Curious

  4. Pingback: Sociology of Guns, Version 7.0 (Fall 2021) | Gun Curious

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