Jane Ward

picture of Jane
Department Chair

Office Location

4704 South Hall


Feminist and queer theory; sex practices; sex cultures; dismantling the patriarchy; creating feminist futures; witchcraft.


PhD UCSB Sociology


Jane Ward is professor of Feminist Studies at University of California Santa Barbara. 

She teaches and writes about gender and sexual cultures, and has published on topics including the marriage self-help industry, the rise and fall of pickup artists, how early lesbian feminist ideas shaped contemporary gender politics, the meaning of sex between straight-identified men, queer childhood and parenting, the evolution of straight culture, the corporatization of gay pride festivals, the race politics of same-sex marriage, the social construction of whiteness, feminist pornography, trans relationships, and more. 


Ward is the author of multiple books, including The Tragedy of Heterosexuality, described by The New York Times Book Review as "at heart a somber, urgent academic examination of the many ways in which opposite-sex coupling can hurt the very individuals who cling to it most. " Her book Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men (2015) was featured in NewsweekNew York MagazineForbesThe GuardianBBCWashington PostUSA TodayHuffington PostSalonVice, and Slate. Her first book, Respectably Queer: Diversity Culture in LGBT Activist Organizations, was named by The Progressive magazine as a best book of 2008 and has been featured on NPR.  

Jane is also an organizer, crafter, green witch, and a parent to one cat, six chickens, and one human child. 





 The Tragedy of Heterosexuality. New York University Press (Sexual Cultures Series). 2020.

                        *2020 Prose Award Winner

                        *2020 Lambda Literary Award Finalist


Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men. New York University Press (Sexual Cultures Series). 2015.

                        * [German Translation] Nicht Schwul: Die homosexuelle Zutat zur Erschaffung des 'normalen' Mannes. Männerschwarm Verlag. 2018 
                        * 2016 Lambda Literary Award Finalist 


Respectably Queer: Diversity Culture in LGBT Activist Organizations.  Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. 2008.  


 Edited Special Issues 


Ward, Jane and Beth Schneider (eds.) “Introduction: The Reaches of Heteronormativity” Special Issue on Sexualities and Heteronormativity. Gender & Society 23(4): 433-439. 2009.

 Articles, Chapters, and Essays 


 “Sex Scenes, Television, and Disavowed Sex Work.” Accepted at Signs: Journal of Women and Culture. In press.


 “The Straight Rules Don’t Apply: Lesbian Sexual Ethics” Shantel Buggs and Trevor Hoppe (eds) Unsafe Words: Queer Perspectives on Consent in the #MeToo Era. Rutgers University Press. In press.

“Heterosexuality,” Keywords for Gender and Sexuality Studies, NYU Press, 2021. (editors: Aren Aizura, Aimee Bahng, Amber Musser, Karma Chavez, Mishuana Goeman, Shona Jackson and Kyla Wazana Tompkins). 2021.


Ward, Jane. “The Methods Gatekeepers and the Exiled Queers” In D’Lane Compton, Tey Meadow, and Kristen Schilt (eds) OtherPlease Specify:___________: Queer Methods in Sociology. (UC Press) 2018: 51-66.
Ward, Jane.  “Bad Girls: On Being the Accused.” Where Freedom Starts: Sex, Power, Violence and #metoo. Verso Books. 2018

Ward, Jane. “Children’s Gender Self-Determination: A Practical Guide” in Wade, Lisa Doug Hartmann and Chris Uggen (Eds.) Assigned: Life With Gender. W.W. Norton. In press. 2016.

Ward, Jane. “Dyke Methods: A Meditation on Queer Studies and the Gay Men Who Hate It” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly. 44.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2016).

Ward, Jane. “Get Your Gender Binary Off My Childhood!: Towards a Movement for Children’s Gender Self-Determination.” In Fiona Green and May Friedman (eds) Chasing Rainbows:  Exploring Gender Fluid Parenting Practices.  2013.

Ward, Jane. “Radical Experiments Involving Innocent Children: Locating Parenthood in Queer Utopia.” In Angela Jones (ed) A Critical Inquiry Into Queer Utopia, Palgrave. 2013. pp. 231-244.

Ward, Jane. “Queer Feminist Pigs: A Spectator’s Manifesta.”  In Tristan Taormino, Penley, Constance, Mireille Miller Young, and Celine Parrenas Shimizu (eds.) The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure.  The Feminist Press, CUNY. 2013. pp. 130-139

Ward, Jane and Susan Mann. “Postmodernism, Poststructuralism & Queer Theory.” Doing Feminist Theory: Fighting for Bread and Roses, edited by Susan Mann. Oxford University Press. 2012.

  • REPRINTED in Susan Mann and Ashly Patterson (eds) Reading Feminist Theory: From Modernity to Postmodernity. Oxford University Press. 2015. pp. 300-308

Ward, Jane. “Born This Way: Congenital Heterosexuals and the Making of Heteroflexibility.” Sexualities: Past Reflections, Future Directions, edited by Sally Hines and Yvette Taylor. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Invited chapter. 2012.

Ward, Jane “Queer Pedagogies and the Specter of the Maternal.” In Deborah Byrd and Fiona Green (eds.) Maternal Pedagogies: In and Out of the Classroom. Ontario: Demeter Press. 2011.

Stone, Amy and Jane Ward. “From ‘Black People Are Not A Homosexual Act’ to ‘Gay is the New Black’: Mapping White Uses of Blackness in Modern Gay Rights Campaigns in the United States.” Social Identities 17.5. 2011. 

Ward, Jane. “Gender Labor: Transmen, Femmes, and the Collective Work of Transgression.” Sexualities. 13 (2): 236-254. 2010.

  • REPRINTED in Intimate Labors: Cultures, Technologies, and the Politics of Care, edited by Eileen Boris and Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, Stanford University Press, 2010. pp. 78-94

Luft, Rachel and Jane Ward. “Toward an Intersectionality Just Out of Reach: Confronting Challenges to Intersectional Practice.” In Marcia Texler Segal and Vasilikie Demos (eds.) Perceiving Gender Locally, Globally, and Intersectionally: Advances in Gender Research Vol. 13.  Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Publishers. 2009.

Ward, Jane.  “Diversity Discourse and Multi-Identity Work in Lesbian and Gay Organizations.” In Jo Reger, Daniel Myers, and Rachel Einwohner (eds.) Identity Work in Social Movements: Negotiating Sameness and Difference in Activist Environments, 233-255.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 2008.

Ward, Jane. “White Normativity: The Cultural Dimensions of Whiteness in a Racially Diverse LGBT Organization.” Sociological Perspectives 51(3): 563-586. 2008.

Ward, Jane. “Dude-Sex: White Masculinities and ‘Authentic’ Heterosexuality Among Dudes Who Have Sex With Dudes.” Sexualities 11(4): 415-435. 2008.

  • REPRINTED in Michael Kimmel, The Gendered Society Reader, 5th Edition. Oxford University Press. 2015
  • REPRINTED in CJ Pascoe and Tristan Bridges, Exploring Masculinities: Identity, Inequality, Continuity. Oxford University Press. 2015: 402-411.

Ward, Jane.  “Transmanner, femmes, und die arbeit, das girl zu sein.” [“Transmen, Femmes, and the Work of Being the Girl”] In Renate Lorenz and Brigitta Kuster (eds.) Sexuell Arbeiten: Eine queere Perspektive auf Arbeit und Prekaras Leben, 240-258. Berlin: b_books. 2007.

Ward, Jane.  “Straight Dude Seeks Same: Mapping the Relationship Between Sexual Identities, Practices, and Cultures.” In Mindy Stombler et al (eds.) Sex Matters: The Sexuality and Society Reader, 31-37.  New York: Allyn and Bacon. 2004.

  • REPRINTED in Mindy Stombler et al (eds.) Sex Matters: The Sexuality and Society Reader, Fourth Edition.  New York: W.W. Norton. 2013
  • REPRINTED in Michael Kimmel, The Gendered Society Reader, 5th Edition. Oxford University Press. 2013

Ward, Jane.  “‘Not All Differences Are Created Equal:’ Multiple Jeopardy in a Gendered Organization.”  Gender & Society 18(1): 82-102.  2004

  • REPRINTED in Joan Z. Spade and Catherine G. Valentine (eds.) The Kaleidoscope of Gender: Prisms, Patterns, and Possibilities, 89-98. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press. 2008. 
  • REPRINTED in Marcia Texler Segal and Theresa A. Martinez (eds.) Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class: Readings for a Changing Landscape, 194-208. Cambridge: Oxford University Press. 2007. 

Ward, Jane.  “Producing Pride in West Hollywood: A Queer Cultural Capital for Queers With Cultural Capital.” Sexualities 6(1): 65-94. 2003.

Ward, Jane. “A New Kind of AIDS: Adapting to the Success of Protease Inhibitors in an AIDS Care Organization.”  Qualitative Sociology 23(3): 247-265. 2000.

Ward, Jane.  “Queer Sexism: Rethinking Gay Men and Masculinity.” In Peter Nardi (ed.) Gay Masculinities, 153-175. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 1999