O’Quinn, Jamie. 2021. "Mapping the Literature on Child Marriage: A Critical Engagement.” Sociology Compass 15(11): e12935.
U.S. “child marriage”—marriage including at least one person under the age of 18—is legal and practiced in 44 states. In this article, I map the existing literature on child marriage and offer insights on how child marriage can expand our sociological understandings of marriage, gender inequality, and youth sexualities. Social scientists have almost exclusively focused on child marriage in the Global South at the expense of understanding child marriage in the Global North, which I argue reinforces racist and xenophobic narratives that cast child marriage as a non-Western social problem. The research on U.S. child marriage that does exist focuses on the consequences, rather than the causes, of child marriage, which may shift focus away from a structural understanding of how intersecting inequalities shape girls’ likelihood of getting married as minors. I position a sociology of U.S. child marriage at the intersection of sociological understandings of marriage and gender inequality and critical research on youth sexualities. I conclude by calling for intersectional research on U.S. child marriage that builds on these literatures, examining how girls’ sexualities are racialized, gendered, and classed within the institution of marriage.
O’Quinn, Jamie and Jessica Fields. 2020. “The Future of Evidence: Queerness in Progressive Visions of Sexuality Education.” Sexuality Research and Social Policy 17(2): 175-187.
“Evidence” has replaced “abstinence” as the idea with foundational cultural authority in sexuality education debates, policy, and practice. In a move emblematic of this shift, leading sexual health organizations proposed the Future of Sex Education (FoSE), the first national standards for evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education that exemplified the push toward scientific, evidence-based standards. We examine FoSE’s attempts to broaden the scope of traditional evidence-based sexuality education policies and how sociological feminist analyses and queer theory can advance understandings of sexuality education’s capacity to effect social change. FoSE’s reliance on scientific evidence reinforces future-orientated narratives of (queer) youth sexuality and considers the possibilities and limitations these narratives suggest for young people’s sexual subjectivities. A theory of queer utopias complicates FoSE’s understandings of science, education, and the future, generating a queer utopic sexuality education that allows room for ambivalence and ambiguity in young people’s sexualities.
O’Quinn, Jamie. 2019. “Child marriage and Sexual Violence in the United States.” Pp. 191-205 in Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Volume 25. Bingley: Emerald.
Child marriage, or marriage between two individuals when one or both are under the age of 18, is legal and practiced in 48 US states. Despite this, child marriage is commonly understood as only occurring in the Global South. Child marriage laws shed light on the paradoxical policies that most US states enforce regarding young people’s sexual agency. By legalizing sex between adults and minors within the institution of marriage, child marriage provides exception to statutory rape laws, which classify sex between minors and adults as sexual violence. In this chapter, I draw on feminist and queer theories to critically examine the racialized and gendered effects of these contradictory state policies. First, I analyze US age of consent laws’ reliance on an adult/child binary that constructs adults and minors as essentially and radically different. Second, I explore efforts to challenge the adult/child binary, looking at how frameworks for understanding sexual violence that are rooted in an adult/child binary can exacerbate young people’s vulnerability to sexual violence. Third, I discuss feminist efforts to theorize sexual violence outside of binary logics and their implications for research on child marriage. I conclude by discussing areas for future research on child marriage that attend to the racialized and gendered inequalities that undergird the state regulation of youth sexualities.
O’Quinn, Jamie and Jess Goldstein-Kral.* Forthcoming. “Sex on the Streets and in the Margins: Homelessness, Sexual Citizenship, and Justice.” Invited book chapter in Outskirts: Queer Experiences on the Fringe, edited by D’Lane Compton and Amy Stone. New York: NYU Press.
* Denotes Equal Authorship
Awards: 2021 Graduate Student Paper Award, Sexual Behavior, Politics, and Communities Division, Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Manuscripts In Progress
O’Quinn, Jamie, Erika Slaymaker, Jess Goldstein-Kral, Kathleen Broussard, and Shannon Malone Gonzalez. “Sociology from a Distance: Remote Interviews and Feminist Methods.” Under review.
O’Quinn, Jamie. Married as Minors in the USA: Women's Stories of Child Marriage.