Liahna Gordon

Associate Professor

Liahna Gordon


After spending three years at the University of California, Santa Barbara and one at the l'Université de Grenoble in Grenoble , France, I graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from UCSB in 1990. I then spent 8 months living and working in Edinburgh, Scotland, before returning to the midwest as a graduate student in Sociology at Indiana University, Bloomington, where I completed my M.A. in 1995 and my Ph.D. in 2000.

Sociological Interests:

My very first course in Sociology back in 1987 was the Sociology of Human Sexuality, a course with 856 students. I have been hooked on studying the sociological aspects of sexuality ever since. My particular interests within sexuality have shifted over time, moving from a focus on HIV/AIDS, to the gendered aspects of sexuality, to a current interest in macro perspectives on sexuality. Other main areas of sociological interest for me include gender, deviance, social psychology, identities, and qualitative research, although I am also becoming increasingly interested in consumerism.

Current Courses:

My current rotation of courses includes Sociology of Sexuality (SOCI 133), Contemporary Social Theory (SOCI 301), Social Research Methods (SOCI 310), Qualitative Research Methods (SOCI 410) and Constructing Sexualities (SOCI 433). I am lucky to very much enjoy teaching all of these courses! This semester (SP ‘08) I will be teaching Quantitative Research Methods (SOCI 411) for the first time.

Previous Courses:

At Chico State, for several semesters I also taught the Sociology of Religion, and the (former) capstone course for the University Honors Program, Global through the Local: Service Learning. At Indiana University, I taught Introduction to Sociology, Sexual Diversity/Variations in Human Sexuality, Deviant Behavior and Social Control, and Sociology of Religion.


Some semesters I am fortunate to have the privilege of being one of the advisors for Sociology majors. As such, I consider it my job to not only help students choose classes and fill out the Major Clearance Form, but to help give students direction in succeeding in their courses, applying to graduate school, and finding jobs after graduation.

Minor in Sexual Diversity Studies:

I am the Coordinator of the Minor in Sexual Diversity Studies , which is a new minor housed in Multicultural and Gender Studies. This minor introduces students to some of the diverse ways in which sexuality is expressed, both in the United States and around the globe. Classes also examine the ways that societies shape, control, and respond to a diversity of sexual behaviors and identities. Two sociology courses count for this minor: Sociology of Sexuality (SOCI 133) and Constructing Sexualities (SOCI 433).

Student-Focused Campus Activities:

Currently, I am the advisor for SACS (the Sociological Association of Chico State), and serve on the Board of Directors for Hillel/Jewish Student Union , and on the Advisory Committee for the Women's Center .


2006. Liahna E. Gordon. “Bringing the U-Haul: Embracing and Resisting Traditional Sexual Stereotypes in a Lesbian Community.” Sexualities 9(2):171-192.

2006. Liahna E. Gordon and Lyndall Ellingson. “In the Eyes of the Beholder: Student Understandings of Pleasure and Danger in Sexuality Education Lessons.” Sex Education 6(3): 251-264.

2002. Liahna E. Gordon and Sharon A. Abbott. “The Social Constructionist's ‘Essential' Guide to Sex.” Chapter in R. Heasely and B. Crane (eds.), Sexual Lives: Theories and Realities of Human Sexualities. New York: McGraw-Hill.

2002. Liahna E. Gordon. “Learning Lesbian Appearance Norms.” Chapter in E. Rubington and M.S. Weinberg (eds.), Deviance: The Interactionist Perspective, Eighth Edition . Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon. Also translated into Farci.

1997. Martin S. Weinberg, Ilsa L. Lottes, and Liahna E. Gordon. “Social Class Background, Sexual Attitudes and Sexual Behavior in a University Heterosexual Undergraduate Sample.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 26(6):625-643.

Upcoming & Recent Presentations:

2008. Liahna E. Gordon. “A New Field is Born: The Medicalization of Sexual Addiction.” The Pacific Sociological Association's Annual Meeting, Portland, OR.

2007. Liahna E. Gordon. “Beyond Coding: Teaching Students To See Patterns in Qualitative Data.” The Pacific Sociological Association's Annual Meeting, Oakland, CA.

2006. Andy Dick and Liahna E. Gordon. “Using Service-Learning to Evaluate Service Learning: Using Undergraduate Students to Conduct Community-Based Research on a Service-Learning Program.” CSU Conference on Community-Based Teaching and Research, sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, Pomona, CA.

2006. Liahna E. Gordon. “Teaching Qualitative Data Analysis Using Atlas.ti.” The Pacific Sociological Association's Annual Meeting, Hollywood, CA.

2005. Panelist. “Adding Voice to WebCT Courses.” Annual WebCt User Conference, San Francisco, CA.