Neither Sin Nor Civil Rights: Ethel Sawyer’s Study of a Lesbian Community

In 1965 24-year-old Ethel Sawyer completed the first known academic study of an African American lesbian community. Sawyer’s analysis of “mate stability” helped me develop an understanding of why in the 1950s and 60s gay women who rebelled against sex and gender norms participated in the most normalizing of all institutions: marriage. Although Sawyer did not hear of any such ceremonies during the two years she spent conducting … Continue reading Neither Sin Nor Civil Rights: Ethel Sawyer’s Study of a Lesbian Community