Morgan Johnstonbaugh

Ph.D. Student

I'm a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Arizona. My current research focuses on digital intimacy, asking through what processes are interaction rituals digitally mediated and how are these processes related to gender inequalities?


My dissertation examines college students’ engagement in sexting (the electronic sharing of nude or semi-nude images) using survey and interview data. I show how sexting is not one uniform action; it consists of a wide range of diverse rituals. By analyzing the processes through which these rituals take place, I reveal how individuals use images to engage in meaningful digitally mediated interactions. I also show how these processes may reproduce or challenge inequalities within and between men and women. My ongoing research interests include digital interactions, social theory, and inequalities related to gender, sexuality, and the body.


My work has been published in Socius, Mobilization, Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, and Journal of Youth Studies and covered by news outlets including Arizona Public Media and The Huffington Post.


You can follow me on Twitter at @MJohnstonbaugh

Dissertation Title: "Sexual Trophy, Revenge Porn, or Just a Prank? An Examination of Gendered Sexting Practices in 7 U.S. Universities"

Dissertation Committee: Louise Roth (Chair),Ronald Breiger, Jennifer Carlson, Lisa Wade (Occidental College)