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Department of Sociology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Carla A. Pfeffer

Title: Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies; Director, Women’s and Gender Studies
Department: Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-4008
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Personal Website
Carla A. Pfeffer


I completed my Ph.D. in Sociology and Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, where I received interdisciplinary multi-method training in the social sciences and humanities. I joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina in 2015. From 2018-2019, I served as elected Chair of the Section on the Sociology of Sexualities of the American Sociological Association.


Substantive research interests: Body and Embodiment, Families, LGBTQ Identities and Communities, Sex and Gender, Sexualities, Qualitative Methods, Feminist Epistemologies and Methodologies

Department cluster: Social Identities, Inequalities, and Institutions

Research overview: My research is at the intersection of sociological inquiry into contemporary families, genders, sexualities, and bodies considered marginal, as well as social actors’ management of stigma and discrimination processes. My research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and American Council of Learned Societies.

Current projects: My latest research project is a three-year, international, collaborative, qualitive study of transgender pregnancy. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (£502,102; PI: Sally Hines), I serve as the sole United States co-Investigator for this project spanning the U.K., U.S., Australia, and Italy.


SOCY 301 / WGST 300: Sex and Gender

SOCY 304 / WGST 304: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality

SOCY 598 / WGST 598: Qualitative Methods in the Social Sciences

SOCY 698 / WGST 701: Feminist Theories and Epistemologies

Selected Publications


Pfeffer, Carla A. (2017). Queering Families: The Postmodern Partnerships of Cisgender Women and Transgender Men. New York: Oxford University Press.


Riggs, Damien W., Pfeffer, Carla A., Pearce, Ruth, Hines, Sally, White, Francis Ray. (forthcoming). “Men, Trans/Masculine, and Non-Binary People Negotiating Conception: Normative Resistance and Inventive Pragmatism.” International Journal of Transgender Health

Riggs, Damien W., Pearce, Ruth, Pfeffer, C. A., Hines, Sally, White, Francis, & Ruspini, Elisabetta. (2020). “Men, Trans/Masculine, and Non-Binary People’s Experiences of Pregnancy Loss: An International Qualitative Study.” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 20(482).

Riggs, Damien, Pearce, Ruth, Pfeffer, Carla A., Hines, Sally, White, Francis Ray, and Ruspini, Elisabetta. (2019). “Transnormativity in the Psy Disciplines: Constructing Pathology in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and Standards of Care.” American Psychologist, 74(8):912-924. Online first at:

Santos, Theo, Mann, Emily, and Pfeffer, Carla A. (2019). “Are University Health Services Meeting the Needs of Transgender College Students? A Qualitative Assessment of a Public University.” Journal of American College Health. Online first at:

Hood, Devon, Sherrell, Logan, Pfeffer, Carla A., and Mann, Emily. (2018). “LGBTQ College Students’ Experiences with University Health Services: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of Homosexuality. Online first at:

Augustine, Jennifer March, Aveldanes, Jose Martin, and Pfeffer, Carla A. (2017). “Are the Parents Alright? Time in Self-Care in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Two-Parent Families with Children.” Population Review 56(2):49-77.

*Scherrer, Kristin, and Pfeffer, Carla A. (2017). “None of the Above: Toward Identity and Community-Based Understandings of (A)sexualities.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 46(3):643-646. *Equal co-authorship

Pfeffer, Carla A., Rogalin, Christabel L, and Gee, Cari A. (2016) “Masculinities through a Cross-Disciplinary Lens: Lessons from Sociology and Psychology.” Sociology Compass 10(8):652-672.

Pfeffer, Carla A. (2014). “‘I Don’t Like Passing as a Straight Woman’: Queer Negotiations of Identity and Social Group Membership.” American Journal of Sociology 120(1):1-44.

Pfeffer, Carla A. (2014). “Making Space for Trans Sexualities.” Journal of Homosexuality 61(5):597-604.

Pfeffer, Carla A. (2012). “Normative Resistance and Inventive Pragmatism: Negotiating Structure and Agency in Transgender Families.” Gender & Society 26(4):574-602.

Pfeffer, Carla A., and Christabel L. Rogalin. (2012). “Three Strategies for Teaching Research Methods: A Case Study.” Teaching Sociology 40(4):368-376.

Pfeffer, Carla A. (2010). “‘Women’s Work?’: Women Partners of Transgender Men Doing Housework and Emotion Work.” Journal of Marriage and Family 72(1):165-183.

Pfeffer, Carla A. (2008). “Bodies in Relation—Bodies in Transition: Lesbian Partners of Trans Men and Body Image.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 12(4):325-345.

Sheldon, Jane P., Carla A. Pfeffer, Elizabeth M. Petty, Merle Feldbaum, and Toby E. Jayaratne. (2007). “Beliefs About the Etiology of Homosexuality and About the Ramifications of Discovering its Possible Genetic Origin.” Journal of Homosexuality 52(3/4):111-150.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.