Chapman English professor Ian Barnard’s new book, Sex Panic Rhetorics, Queer Interventions, has just been published by The University of Alabama Press. The book makes the counter-intuitive argument that contemporary sex panics are undergirded by queerphobia, even when the panics in question don’t appear to have much to do with queerness.

Barnard presents six case studies that treat a wide range of sex panic rhetorics around child molesters, sex trafficking, transgenderism, incest, queer kids, and pedagogy to demonstrate this argument. By using examples from academic scholarship, political discourse, and popular culture, including the Kevin Spacey scandal and the award-winning film Moonlight, they show how homophobia and transphobia continue to pervade contemporary Western culture.