Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies


Contact Us

Denise Whitehead
Associate Professor
519-884-8111 x 28281
Picture of people enjoying sunset over horizon
Welcome to the Department of Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies

Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies (SMF) provides students with opportunities to explore the research and theory about human sexuality and relationships from a wide range of disciplines and across the humanities and social sciences.


Many courses in SMF promote interdisciplinary scholarship, and adopt a social justice perspective that challenges students to think critically about often overlooked subjects: human interactions within relational, sexual, and societal contexts;  basic anatomical knowledge and sexual health; the formation and maintenance of relationships; parenting skills; the impact of culture on sexual and family-related values, ideas, and attitudes; the impact of media on our understanding of gender, sexuality, and relationships; sexuality education; attitudes toward sexualities; the effects of pornography on societal attitudes; family conflict and its escalation to violence; sexual problems or difficulties; and couple, family, and sex therapy.


This provides an excellent foundation for historical, theoretical, and ethical discussions around many exciting topics, such as the role of major discourses (e.g., media, law, medicine, religion) in shaping our perspectives on sexuality and relationships, the ways that our identities are formed and how these shape our interactions in the world, and the role of education around sexuality and relationships in Canada and the broader global context.


October 4, 2022 - AMTD Global Talent Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr. Rhea Ashley Hoskin develops new research and tools to help people revalue femininity. READ MORE


October 14, 2020 - SMF Welcomes AMTD Fellow Dr. Rhea Hoskins. READ MORE

2023 Academic Achievement Awards

Congratulations to 2023 graduate Taylor Kangas for achieving the highest academic achievement in the Department of Sexuality, Marriage, & Family Studies.

Upcoming Events
The 10th Annual SMF Research Symposium was originally planned to take place in April 2020 but could not take place due to COVID-19.  With heavy hearts we have had to postpone, but we look forward to inviting you to the rescheduled 10th Annual SMF Research Symposium on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. Click here for more information about past Symposia. The theme for the upcoming Symposium is From Singular to Plural: Developments and Intersections in the Study of Sexualities, Relationships, and Families.

The SMF department invites proposals for presentations on sexualities, relationships, or families for the 2023 Symposium. Please submit your 250 word abstract and short CV to Graduate and undergraduate research is encouraged.