The Straight Line: How the Fringe Science of Ex-Gay Therapy Reoriented Sexuality

University of Minnesota Press, 2015 (Press webpage)

Intervening in the politics of sexuality and science, The Straight Line argues that scientific definitions of sexual orientation do not merely reflect the results of investigations into human nature, but rather emerge through a process of social negotiation between opposing groups. The demedicalization of homosexuality and the discrediting of reparative therapies, ex-gay ministries, and reorientation research have, Waidzunas contends, required scientists to enforce key boundaries around scientific expertise and research methods. Drawing on extensive participant observation at conferences for ex-gays, reorientation therapists, mainstream psychologists, and survivors of ex-gay therapy, as well as interviews with experts and activists, The Straight Line traces reorientation debates in the United States from the 1950s to the present, following homosexuality therapies from the mainstream to the margins. As the ex-gay movement has become increasingly transnational in recent years, Waidzunas turns to Uganda, where ideas about the scientific nature of homosexuality influenced the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014.



"'For Men Arousal is Orientation': Bodily Truthing, Technosexual Scripts, and the Materialization of Sexualities through the Phallometric Test." with Steven Epstein. Social Studies of Science 45, no. 2 (April 2015): 187-213.

"Standards as ‘Weapons of Exclusion’: Ex-Gays and the Materialization of the Male Body." pp. 33-48 in Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society. Edited by Daniel Lee Kleinman and Kelly Moore. (New York, NY: Routledge, 2014).  

"Intellectual Opportunity Structures and Science-Targeted Activism: Influence of the Ex-Gay Movement on the Science of Sexual Orientation." Mobilization: An International Journal. 18, no. 1 (March 2013): 1-18.

"Young, Gay, and Suicidal: Dynamic Nominalism and the Process of Defining a Social Problem with Statistics." Science, Technology and Human Values. 37, no. 2 (March 2012): 199-225.

"Navigating the Heteronormativity of Engineering: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students." co-authored by Erin Cech and Tom Waidzunas, Engineering Studies. 3, no. 1 (April 2011): 1-24.

"Measuring Desire: The Science of Phallometric Testing" Cabinet Magazine. 34 (Summer 2009): 80-81.

Conference Proceedings

Cech, Erin A., Tom Waidzunas, and Stephanie Farrell. 2017. “The Inequality of LGBTQ Students in U.S. Engineering Education: Report on a Study of Eight Engineering Programs.” Proceedings of the 2017 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) National Conference. June 2017. ***Winner, Best Diversity Paper Award, 2017 ASEE National Conference

Cech, Erin A., Tom Waidzunas, and Stephanie Farrell. 2016. “Engineering Deans’ Support For LGBTQ Inclusion.” Proceedings of the 2016. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) National Conference. June 2016.