Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies Research


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Denise Whitehead
Associate Professor
519-884-8111 x 28281


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Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies Research

St. Jerome's University has made its reputation over the years through excellence in teaching alongside a commitment to strong scholarship and original research. University teaching in the Department of Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies (SMF) is enriched and more meaningful because faculty are actively engaged in research and its promulgation.


Faculty who teach in the Department of Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies come from various home disciplines, such as Anthropology, Family Studies, History, Law, Psychology, and Sociology. The interests of SMF faculty members reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the program and include, but are not limited to:


  • Attitudes toward sexual minorities, including lesbians and gay men, transgender people, intersex people, same-sex parenting (BJ Rye)
  • Attitudes toward controversial issues, including attitudes toward BDSM practitioners, abortion, persons who have offended sexually, and voyeurism (BJ Rye)
  • Sexual Education, including evaluation of a sex education program for adolescent girls, and satisfaction with high-school sex education (BJ Rye)
  • Community-based SMF work and the intersection of research with community agencies, including evaluation of a community-based restorative justice program for men who have offended sexually, policing and community prevention approaches to domestic violence (BJ Rye)
  • Psychometric analysis of sexuality constructs, including measurement of homonegativity and transnegativity, and of erotophobia--erotophilia (BJ Rye)
  • The Sexual Self, including sexual self-concept and identity development of transgender men, of university students, of queer people (LGBT) and of intersex women compared to heterosexual & queer women (BJ Rye)
  • The history of the body (Jane Nicholas)
  • Women’s and gender history and theory (Jane Nicholas)
  • Cultural theory and history (Jane Nicholas)
  • Feminist pedagogy (Jane Nicholas, Toni Serafini, Carm DeSantis)
  • Family law, including shared custody, mediation, fathering (Denise Whitehead)
  • Family policy (Denise Whitehead)
  • Parent and child relations (Denise Whitehead)
  • Qualitative research methods (Denise Whitehead)
  • The self and identity (Toni Serafini)
  • Online dating (Toni Serafini)
  • Gender and sexual scripts (Toni Serafini)
  • Adolescence and emerging adulthood (Toni Serafini)
  • Scale construction and validation (Toni Serafini)
  • Sexual pleasure (Carm DeSantis)
  • Consensual non-monogamy (Carm DeSantis)
  • Sexual minority groups (Carm DeSantis)
  • Women’s sexuality (Carm DeSantis)
  • Teaching and learning in higher education (Carm DeSantis)