Sari van Anders

Canada 150 Research Chair in Social Neuroendocrinology, Sexuality, & Gender/Sex Professor of Psychology, Gender Studies, & Neuroscience

Department of Psychology

Ph.D., Biological & Cognitive Psychology, Simon Fraser University (SFU), 2003 – 2007.
M.A., Behavioural & Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Western Ontario (UWO), 2001-2003.
Hons. B.A. with Distinction, Scholars’ Electives & Psychology, UWO, 1997-2001.

Lab Site

Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Research Interests

Our research program focuses on sex research, gender/sex and sexual diversity, and social neuroendocrinology, all within a feminist/queer science perspective. Within sex research, we tend to explore: desire, orgasm, pleasure, porn, and others, (including with our newly developed heteronormativity theory of low sexual desire in women partnered with men). Within gender/sex and sexual diversity, we tend to explore understandings of gender/sex and sexual diversity, including with models we've developed (like sexual configurations theory), and with relevance to trans, nonbinary, queer, and/or other minoritized gender/sex and sexual experiences/identities/existences as well as "studying up" with gender/sex and sexual majorities. With social neuroendocrinology, we tend to explore iterative associations between desire and testosterone, and how social behavioural contexts related to intimacy, sexuality, and power/oppression change testosterone (including with our steroid/peptide theory of social bonds).

We aim to conduct and develop ways to do socially situated science that are biologically expansive (not reductionist), biolegible (i.e., to other bioscientists), and informed by lived experiences (critically reflective narratives of minoritized and marginalized folks). Some of our research includes sexuality, gender/sex and sexual diversity, and social neuroendocrinology, while some of it fits into only one of these areas. To do our work, we use diverse interdisciplinary methods that include qualitative approaches, quantitative approaches, mixed methods, as well as theory- and model-building. Our work connects with feminist and queer science studies and practice; all our work is done within a feminist/queer science framework, and we are committed to social action and change within academia.

Selected Publications

Beischel WJ, Gauvin SEM, & van Anders SM, in press. “A little shiny gender breakthrough:” Community understandings of gender euphoria. International Journal of Transgender Health.

van Anders SM, Herbenick D, Brotto LA, Chadwick SB, & Harris EA, in press. The heteronormativity theory of low sexual desire in women partnered with men. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

van Anders SM, Schudson ZC, Beischel WJ, Abed EC, Gormezano A, & Dibble EJ, under review. Overempowered? Diversity-focused research with gender/sex and sexual majorities. Review of General Psychology.

Beischel WJ, Schudson ZC, & van Anders SM, 2021. Visualizing gender/sex diversity via sexual configurations theory. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 8, 1-13.

Abed EC, Schudson ZC, Gunther OD, Beischel WJ, & van Anders SM, 2019. Sexual and gender diversity among sexual and gender/sex majorities: Insights via sexual configurations theory. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48, 1423-1441

Chadwick SB, Francisco M, & van Anders SM, 2019. When orgasms do not equal pleasure: Accounts of “bad” orgasm experiences during consensual sexual encounters. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48, 1423-1441.

Schudson ZC, Beischel WJ, & van Anders SM, 2019. Individual variation in gender/sex category definitions. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 6, 448-460.

Hyde JS, Bigler RB, Joel DS, Tate CC, & van Anders SM, 2019. The future of sex and gender in psychology: Five challenges to the gender binary. American Psychologist, 74, 171-193. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000307

Chadwick SL, Burke SB, Goldey KL, Bell SB, & van Anders SM, 2017. Sexual desire in sexual minority and majority women and men: The multifaceted sexual Desire Questionnaire (DESQ). Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 2465-2484.

Schudson ZC, Dibble ER, & van Anders SM, 2017. Gender/Sex and sexual diversity via Sexual Configurations Theory: Insights from a qualitative study with gender and sexual minorities. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 4, 422-437.

van Anders SM, Schudson ZC, Abed EC, Beischel WJ, Dibble ER, Gunther OD, Kutchko VJ, & Silver ER, 2017. Biological sex, gender, and public policy. (Invited contribution.) Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Biological Sciences, 4, 194-201.

Goldey KL, Posh AR, Bell SN, & van Anders SM, 2016. Defining pleasure: A focus group study of solitary and partnered sexual pleasure in queer and heterosexual women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 2137-2154.

van Anders SM, Steiger J, & Goldey KL, 2015. Gendered behavior modulates testosterone in women and men. PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 13805-13810.

van Anders SM, 2015. Beyond sexual orientation: Integrating gender/sex and diverse sexualities in Sexual Configurations Theory. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 1177-1213.

van Anders SM, 2014. Nomenclature and knowledge-culture, or, we don’t call semen ‘penile mucus.’ Psychology and Sexuality, 5, 349-356.

van Anders SM, Goldey KL, & Bell SN, 2014. Measurement of testosterone in human sexuality research: Methodological considerations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 231-250.

van Anders SM, 2013. Invited contribution: Beyond masculinity: Testosterone, gender/sex, and human social behavior in a comparative context. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 34, 198-210.

van Anders SM, 2012. From one bioscientist to another: Guidelines for researching and writing about bisexuality for the lab and biosciences. Journal of Bisexuality, 12, 393-403.

van Anders SM, Goldey KL, & Kuo PX, 2011. Invited Expert Review: The Steroid/Peptide Theory of Social Bonds: Integrating testosterone and peptide responses for classifying social behavioral contexts. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 36, 1265-1275.