The Heteronormativity Theory of Low Sexual Desire in Women Partnered with Men (2022)
Low sexual desire in women partnered with men tends to be treated as a problem existing within individual women. Yet other factors could be at play: those related to gender and heteronormativity, the belief system that gender is binary and complementary such that relationships should be heterosexual. In this talk, we describe the “heteronormativity theory of low sexual desire in women partnered with men”, which lays out how heteronormative gender inequities might be implicated and causal in low levels of desire in women partnered with men. We lay out the theory’s four specific hypotheses for how heteronormativity impacts or leads to low desire in women partnered with men: inequitable divisions of household labor, blurring of mother and partner roles, objectification of women, and gender norms related to sexual initiation.
Award to be Presented - Friday, November 17 at 10:15 AM
Meet Drs. van Anders, Herbenick, and Chadwick at the Oral Presentation - TBA
Sari van Anders, PhD
Dr. Sari van Anders is the Canada 150 Research Chair in Social Neuroendocrinology, Sexuality, and Gender/Sex, and Professor of Psychology, Gender Studies, and Neuroscience, at Queen's University. Dr. van Anders' research sets out new ways to conceptualize, understand, measure, and map gender/sex, sexual diversity, and sexuality, and also provides unique tools and theories for feminist and queer science. Dr. van Anders is committed to progressive transformation efforts for academic spaces and beyond.
Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, CSE
Dr. Debby Herbenick is a Provost Professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health, Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, and an AASECT certified sexuality educator. Her research focuses on women’s sexual health, U.S. population-representative research, vulvar and vaginal health, as well as the use of sexual stimulation devices. Dr. Herbenick has published or has in-press more than 200 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and serves as PI on the award-winning National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. Dr. Herbenick’s research, books, and expertise have been featured in popular media including The New York Times, Washington Post, Vogue, the Tyra Banks Show, the Tamron Hall Show, Discovery Health, and in thousands of media articles and television shows. Her latest book is “Yes Your Kid: What Parents Need to Know About Today’s Teens and Sex.” Science & Medicine.
Lori A. Brotto, PhD, R Psych
Dr. Lori Brotto is a Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Women’s Sexual Health. In this role, she is focused on developing safe, effective, and accessible treatments to address highly prevalent sexual concerns in women. She is especially interested in equity issues and as such has increasingly focused on digital health technologies to ensure that more women have access to treatments. Dr. Brotto is also the Executive Director for the Women’s Health Research Institute—one of only three institutes in Canada devoted to advancing research in women’s health. In this role she supports nearly 500 members across the province to collectively advance our knowledge in all domains of women’s health.
Given the known barriers that women experience in getting accurate health information, Dr. Brotto is also frequently featured in the media, radio, and features in a recent Netflix series, The Principles of Pleasure the CBC Gem network docuseries, The Big Sex Talk, and several others. She also has two books focused on mindfulness: Better Sex Through Mindfulness (2018; Greystone Publishing) and The Better Sex Through Mindfulness Workbook (2022; Greystone Publishing). Dr. Brotto believes in the importance of personal story and lived experience in shaping science. As such, she maintains an active practice as a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia where she sees a variety of individuals who want to improve their sex lives. She is a strong advocate for empowering women to take on leadership roles, and will jump at the chance to speak with young women about pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, and medicine. She is active on IG and Twitter at @DrLoriBrotto
Emily A. Harris, PhD
I am a Research Fellow in psychology at the University of Melbourne. My research explores questions related to gender, for example, what does gender mean to us? How does gender shape our romantic and sexual relationships? And how does gender shape our relationship with our own body? I use a range of research methods and statistical techniques to address these questions, including longitudinal, multi-national, meta-analytic, and experimental methods. After completing my PhD at the University of Queensland in 2019, I accepted a position as a post-doctoral research fellow at Queens University, Canada, and returned to Australia in 2021.
Sara B. Chadwick, PhD
Dr. Sara B. Chadwick is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Gender and Women’s Studies and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Chadwick’s research focuses on identifying and assessing “gray-area” forms of sexual coercion and dating abuse and understanding how such experiences are shaped by gender and sexual identity-based roles and expectations.