Managing Sex in the United States Military

Endorsed by the Society for History in the Federal Government (SHFG) and Women and Social Movements in the United States,1600–2000

Thursday, March 31, 2022, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Type: Virtual Session

Tags: Gender and Sexuality; Military; Postwar


Pre-circulated session: This roundtable brings together three historians to offer different perspectives on the broad question: “How has the U.S. military attempted to manage sex?” The panel will discuss how the social construction of sexuality and gender has shifted in keeping with broader changes in American society, even as prior definitions (buttressed by institutional culture) continue to shape contemporary policies and debates.

Session Participants

Chair: Heather Marie Stur, University of Southern Mississippi
Heather Marie Stur, Ph.D., is professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi and a senior fellow in USM’s Dale Center for the Study of War & Society. She is the author of three books: Saigon at War: South Vietnam and the Global Sixties (Cambridge 2020), The U.S. Military and Civil Rights Since World War II (ABC-CLIO 2019), and Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era (Cambridge 2011). She is also co-editor of Integrating the U.S. Military: Race, Gender, and Sexuality Since World War II (Johns Hopkins 2017). Dr. Stur’s articles and op-eds have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, theBBC, the National Interest, the Orange County Register, Diplomatic History, War & Society, and other journals and newspapers. In 2013-14, Dr. Stur was a Fulbright scholar in Vietnam, where she was a visiting professor in the International Relations department at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City.

Panelist: Kellie Wilson Buford, Arkansas State University
Kellie Wilson-Buford is an Associate Professor of History and at Arkansas State University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014. Her publications have been featured in the Journal of Homosexuality and Military History of the West among other journals and edited volumes including Evolution of Government Policy Towards Homosexuality in the U.S. Military and the forthcoming Managing Sex in the U.S. Military. Her first book, Policing Sex and Marriage in the American Military: The Court-Martial and the Construction of Gender and Sexual Deviance, 1950-2000 was published by University of Nebraska Press in 2018 as part of the Studies in War, Society, and the Military series. Her current book project, tentatively entitled Shattering the Silence: Sexual Violence and American Military Justice from the Korean War to the Present, traces military courts’ efforts to manage service members’ crimes of sexual violence since 1950.

Panelist: Christopher H. Hamner, George Mason University
Christopher Hamner is an associate professor of history at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, specializing in the social history of American soldiers. An honors graduate of Dartmouth College, he earned his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina. His 2011 book Enduring Battle: American Soldiers in Three Wars 1776-1945 examines the experiences of American infantry soldiers under fire in the War of Independence, the Civil War, and the Second World War, analyzing the ways that individuals and small groups were motivated to face the terror and chaos of battle as technologies changed the experience of fighting on the ground. He has been a fellow at the Center for Military History and at Harvard University’s John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies. From 2014 to 2016 he was a visiting professor at the U.S. Army War College, teaching courses on military strategy, planning, and operations.

Panelist: John Worsencroft, Louisiana Tech University
Dr. John Worsencroft is an assistant professor of history at Louisiana Tech University and as a scholar he researches and writes about twentieth century America through the interlocking themes of policy, gender, war, the military, and society. His writing has appeared in American Quarterly, The Washington Post, and the Journal of Policy History. He also writes curriculum in the fields of cyber security, foreign policy, nuclear deterrence, and the Cold War for audiences ranging from K-12 students to active duty military officers. His current book project, “A Family Affair: Military Service in America,” is a history of family policies in the Army and Marine Corps, exploring how military institutions and policies shape rights, obligations, and the meaning of citizenship in the United States. He has an MA in history from the University of Utah and a PhD in history from Temple University.