Deviance, LGBTQ Stigma, Feminist/Queer Criminology
Dr. Worthen's work is focused on understanding and confronting pervasive negative prejudices in society through three main areas of research: sexualities, stigma, and queer/feminist criminology. She is also the founder of the LGBTQ Research & Engagement Collective at OU. Dr. Worthen's work in LGBTQ studies critically analyzes the relationships between attitudes toward LGBTQ people, stigma, and sexual behavior as well as LGBTQ people's experiences with violence and discrimination. Her books include: Queers, Bis, and Straight Lies: An Intersectional Examination of LGBTQ Stigma (2020) and Interrogating the Use of LGBTQ Slurs: Still Smearing the Queer (Forthcoming in 2023). She is a social justice activist for the LGBTQ community, especially through her creation of The Welcoming Project, and an advocate for survivors of sexual assault through her work as #MeTooMeredith. As a researcher, teacher, and activist, she dissects multiple dimensions of prejudice in efforts to cultivate understanding, empathy, and social change.