Dr. Kassia Wosick
Sexualities, Social Inequalities, Research Design & Methods, Social Psychology, Gender, Intimate Relationships, Commodification & Consumerism, Qualitative Research Methods
Office: Science Hall 286E
Ph.D. – Sociology, University of California, Irvine (2007)
M.A. – Sociology, University of California, Irvine (2002)
B.A. – Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire (2000)
Before joining the faculty at NMSU, Dr. Wosick held positions at University of California, Irvine, Irvine Valley College, and Chapman University. Dr. Wosick’s previous research has focused on the construction and negotiation of sexual identities (mainly bisexuality), fidelity in romantic relationships (operationalizing commitment, love, and intimacy), and the gendered commodification of sex (particularly in strip clubs). She has published several chapters and reviews, as well as articles in Journal of Sex Research, American Sociological Review, Psychology and Sexuality, and Humanity and Society.
Dr. Wosick’s first book, Sex, Love, and Fidelity: A Study of Contemporary Romantic Relationships, draws on over 2,000 surveys and 75 interviews with nonmonogamists, monogamists, and polyamorists to examine the importance of fidelity in contemporary romantic relationships. The book highlights how individuals value loyalty and commitment, albeit in varied form and function. Gender and sexual orientation are most salient in conceptualizing monogamy, sex, and love. Gender and sexual orientation are also key factors in rates of nonmonogamy, as well as how individuals establish relationship agreements and rules. According to Dr. Wosick, the notion of feeling special between partner(s) is central in today’s romantic relationships. Interestingly, how feeling special is achieved and experienced, though, is much more nuanced than expected.
Dr. Wosick created the first Sociology of Sexuality course at several southern California universities, and has effectively established her sexualities courses in NMSU’s Department of Sociology. She is often invited to speak at national and local university events, classes, department colloquia, organization events and community gatherings on the subjects of Safer Sex, the Kama Sutra, LGBTQ Sexuality, Sexual Pleasure, and Sex Positivity.
She is currently on sabbatical as a visiting scholar at the University of California, Irvine through December 2014.
Dr. Wosick currently examines women as consumers in the sex industry. Her second book, Pinking” the Sex Industry: Women, Sex Toys and the Home Party Plan Economy explores the financially tenuous yet compulsory relationship between gender, sexuality, and the economy. Based on three years of ethnographic research and surveys with at-home adult novelty parties, consultants, and party consumers, “Pinking” illustrates that women who attend sex toy parties engage in exploring their sexual selves and realize their consumer potential within a decidedly female-centered sex industry consumption context. Concurrently, such parties rely on normative, gendered, and heterosexualized scripts, which may limit women’s sexual autonomy and prevent a more integrated approach to contemporary female sexual agency.
More recently, Dr. Wosick is focusing her empirical efforts on two projects concerning male escorts and their female clients. The first explores media depictions of women who hire male escorts through content analysis of two television series (Hung and Gigolos) and focus groups with women viewers of both programs. The second employs content analysis of an actual escort company’s website, drawing on 41 male escort profiles and a series of company webpages and blog posts. Dr. Wosick argues that textually constructing male escorts through normative gender/sexual scripts that reinforce assumptions about what women want in hiring a male escort and visually marketing escorts in hypersexual ways prevent women from asserting subjectivity and participating as agentic consumers in sexual commerce.
Dr. Wosick is available for speaking engagements, media interviews and commentaries. Please direct all requests to Dr. Wosick at firstname.lastname@example.org.