Cary Costello

  • Director, LGBT Studies Program
  • Associate Professor, Sociology


  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley 1999
  • MA, University of California, Berkeley 1994
  • JD, Harvard Law School 1990
  • BA, Yale College 1986

Office Hours

  • Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 - 3:30pm
  • Bolton Hall 738

Teaching Schedule

Course Num Title Meets
SOCIOL 102-201 Solving Social Problems No Meeting Pattern

Courses Taught

  • SOCIOL 102: Solving Social Problems
  • SOCIOL 250: Sex and Gender
  • SOCIOL 255: Sociology of Sexuality
  • SOCIOL 444 (U/G): Sociology of The Body
  • SOCIOL 928: The Sociology of Sex and Gender

Research Interests

  • Sociology of the Body
  • Sex and Gender
  • Sociology of Sexuality
  • Intersectional Identity
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine Studies

Prof. Costello engages in research in embodied experience and interventions into embodied identity. In one line of research, he studies the regulation of sex and gender through medical interventions into the bodies of intersex and transgender people. In another, ze examines embodiment in virtual settings. In a longitudinal study of avatar embodiment in the virtual world of Second Life, Costello studies how identification with the avatar body facilitates experiences of sensation in virtual flesh, and the therapeutic uses to which people put their avatars, with a particular focus on gender variance, disability, and neurodivergence.

Selected Publications

Costello, Cary G. Forthcoming. "Forced Divorce and Forced Parent/Child Separation in the Context of Gender Transition." In Péter Berta, ed., Arranged Divorce. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. 

Costello, Cary G “The Intersection of Transgender and Intersex Experiences.” 2023. Pp 67-84 in J. Erica Sumerau, ed., Handbook of Transgender Studies. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Costello, Cary G “DARVO: The Inversion of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in the Era of Trump's Mirror.” 2022. Ch 21 in Maureen E. Ryan and Richard Grusin, eds. The Long 2020. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Costello, Cary G. “Beyond Binary Sex and Gender Ideology” Oxford Handbook of Body and Embodiment Ed. Boreo, Natalie. New York: Oxford University Press. (2020).
Costello, Cary G. “Understanding Intersex Relationship Issues” Expanding the Rainbow Boston: Brill/Sense Publishers. (2019): 231-246 .
Costello, Cary G. “Intersex and Trans* Communities: Commonalities and Tensions” Transgender and Intersex in the Arts, Science and Society Ed. Horlacher, Stefan. NYC: Palgrave Macmillan US. (2016): 83-113.
Costello, Cary G. ““Trans and Intersex Children: Forced Sex Changes, Chemical Castration, and Self-Determination” Women’s Health: Readings on Social, Economic and Political Issues Ed. Gathman, Cabell. Dubuque, IA: KendallHunt Publishing Co.. (2016).
Costello, Cary G. ““Not a “Medical Miracle”: Intersex Reproduction and the Medical Enforcement of Binary Sex and Gender”” Queering Maternity and Motherhood: Narrative and Theoretical Perspectives on Queer Conception, Birth and Parenting Ed. Gibson, Margaret F. Branson, ON: Demeter Press. (2014).
Costello, Cary G. “Sexuality in a Virtual World” Sex Matters 4th Ed.. Ed. Strombler, Mindy, Baunach, Dawn M., Simonds, Wendy, Windsor, Elroi J., and Burgess, Elisabeth O. New Jersey: Pearson Education. (2013): 178-185.
Costello, Cary G. “The Real Me: Selfhood in the Virtual World” Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream, V. 3 Ed. Batchelor, Bob. Praeger. (2011): 187-203.
Costello, Cary G. “Caster Semenya: An Intersex Perspective/ Caster Semenya: Una Perspectiva Intersex” Different Bodies/ Cuerpos Distintos Ed. Almeida, Ana, and Vasquez, Elizabeth. Manthra Editores. (2010): 69-72.
Costello, Cary G. [published under Carrie Yang Costello] Professional Identity Crisis: Race, Class, Gender and Success at Professional Schools Vanderbilt University Press. 2006.
Costello, Cary G. [published under Carrie Yang Costello]  “Teratology: ‘Monsters’ and the Professionalization of Obstetrics” Journal of Historical Sociology 19.1 (2006): 1-33.