Montemurro named distinguished professor

Abington sociology

Beth Montemurro, distinguished professor of sociology.

Credit: Penn State Abington

Beth Montemurro, professor of sociology at Penn State Abington, has been conferred the status of distinguished professor, the highest professorial distinction at the University.

The title of distinguished professor recognizes the academic contributions of full-time faculty members who hold the rank of professor. Distinguished professors are acknowledged leaders in their fields of research or creative activity; demonstrate significant leadership in raising the University's standards in teaching, research, or creative activity and service; and exhibit excellent teaching skills.

“I am very honored to receive this designation of distinguished professor. I am flattered and grateful to have been nominated and recommended by colleagues,” Montemurro said. “I have been at Abington for 18 years and feel fortunate to work at a supportive institution.” 

Her current research examines sexual development and evolution in heterosexual men's sexuality, with a focus on how constructions of masculinity shape heterosexual men's sexualities. This research is based on in-depth interviews with a diverse group of men in their 20s through 60s. 

Montemurro is developing her third book, which will be published in 2021 by Rutgers University Press, called "Getting It, Having It, Keeping It Up: Heterosexual Men's Sexuality in Public and Private." "Deserving Desire" and "Something Old, Something Bold," her previous books, were lauded for their contributions to the fields of gender and sexuality.

She has co-authored a paper with Christina Riehman-Murphy, reference and instruction librarian at Abington, about the initiation of early sexual experiences that was published in the journal Men and Masculinities. She has several papers in progress examining race and sexuality, discussion of sexuality with ACURA (Abington College Undergraduate Research Activities) students, and hetero-masculinity in general. 

Montemurro has published peer-reviewed articles in 15 different journals, 23 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 21 essays/book reviews — 20 of which were sole-authored. Seven co-authored publications were interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues in corporate communication, psychology, and the library, demonstrating her reach and network across disciplines. She also co-authored six peer-reviewed journal articles with seven undergraduate students.   

Montemurro’s work has been widely covered in the popular press, with stories about her research appearing in print and online editions of publications including Time magazine, The New York Times, BBC News, Brides magazine, Elle magazine, Discovery Channel, Discovery Channel Canada, Chicago Tribune, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Australian Broadcasting Company, The Washington Times, WedMD, Yahoo! News India, London Times Higher Education Supplement, and Contexts.

She has been solicited to comment as an expert in both national and international publications, primarily on issues related to gender and sexuality, including The Atlantic, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan magazine, Reader’s Digest, Newsweek, BBC, Men’s Health, The Washington Times, ABC News, The Miami Herald, Post, Slate magazine, Portland Press Herald, Jezebel, Star Tribune, Stadtrevue (Germany), de Morgen (Belgium), Austrian National Public Radio, and Style magazine.

Montemurro has served as presider and discussant at regional, national, and international sociology conferences.

Her research interests include sexuality and aging, gender and sexuality, qualitative methodology, weddings and marriage, popular culture, and symbolic interaction.

Montemurro earned her master’s degree and doctorate in sociology from the University of Georgia and her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Manhattan College.

About Penn State Abington
Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible, and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st century public higher education within a world-class research university. With about 3,700 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 21 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more.