Constructivist Sexuality Research Lab

Team Members

Research Team Faculty Director: Dr. Sara Bridges

Research Team Student Leads: Emily Brown, MS & Joe Dunn, MA

Research Team Description:
The Constructivist Sexuality Team focuses on personal constructions of sexuality and the meaning sexuality has for individuals and couples. Specifically we are interested in the subjective and uniquely personal experiences of sexuality for individuals in their social and relational contexts. As a team, we focus on issues related to sexual identity, body image, gender role and gender identity, masculinity and femininity, and interpersonal competence as it relates to experiences of and satisfaction with sexuality. While not specifically focusing on sexual health concerns at this time, our research includes issues related to STD and HIV prevention, contraceptive use, and sexual attitudes and knowledge. Our current research projects also include issues of self-esteem, positive sexual experiences, and the need for open and aware sex therapy.

Through all of our research, we endeavor to consider the impact of diversity, culture, and the media. As a culture we are inundated with images and messages about sexuality and how one should be sexual, however rarely are these messages truly healthy or in any way informative. Thus, an additional objective of our research is to disseminate accurate, well-being focused, and positive messages about sexuality in all its unique forms.

Current Research Team Members:
Rami Steinruck, M.Ed.
Michael Schaeffer, MS
Mae Lynn Germany, MS
Anna Pederson, BA
Casey Brasfield, 

Current Projects:
• Living Kink: Exploring Mental Health Needs of Individuals Participating in the Kink Community
• A Phenomenological Study of Optimal Sexual Experiences in the Mid-Southern United States
• Presence-Absence of selves: Conceptualizing trans* ambiguous loss during transition

Select Conference Presentations:

Brown, E. L., Dunn, J. P., Bridges, S. K., & Izmirian, A. (2015, August). Attitudes and
antecedents: Predictors of transphobia in the Mid-South. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Conference, Toronto, CA.

Dunn, J., Steinruck, R., Germany, M., Bridges, S. (August, 2016). A Phenomenological Study of
Optimal Sexual Experiences in the Mid-Southern United States. Poster session presented at the 2016 American Psychological Association (APA) National Convention, Denver, Colorado.

Germany, M., Pederson, A.,& Bridges, S. (August, 2016). Presence-Absence of selves:
Conceptualizing trans* ambiguous loss during transition. Poster session presented at the 2016 American Psychological Association (APA) National Convention, Denver, Colorado.

Germany, M., Pederson, A.,& Bridges, S. (April, 2016). Ambiguous loss in transition: Trans*
individuals and identity. Poster presented at the Association for Death Education in Counseling, Minneapolis, MN.