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Department of Sociology Graduate Students

Caleb Cooley


University of Memphis, Memphis, TN

M.A. Sociology
May 2018
Thesis: Sexual Minority Health Behaviors and Potential Benefits of Same-Sex Marriage
Committee: Dr. Joseph Lariscy (Chair), Dr. Wesley James, Dr. Jeni Loftus

University of Memphis, Memphis, TN

BA in Sociology and Biology Cum Laude
December 2015
Thesis: Unequal Access to Food: An Intersectional Investigation of Food Deserts


Health Disparities, Sexuality, Social Determinants of Health, Marriage and the Family, Social Psychology

Research Interests

My research focuses on sexualities, particularly the experiences and health outcomes of sexual minorities. In my master’s thesis, I map the processes of identity formation and make use of relatively novel nationally representative health data regarding sexual orientation, from the National Health Interview Survey. In this quantitative project, I build on the literature which consistently demonstrates high rates of negative health behaviors among sexual minorities. Through this research I aim to understand the mechanisms which predispose sexual minorities to participate in negative health behaviors. I also explore the potential protective benefits of marriage in terms of improved mental and physical health.