For my Master's Thesis I built an artificial online dating website to experimentally test the impact of operational sex ratios on sociosexuality and sexual strategies. While the results of this study were mixed, there was some evidence that the availability of potential partners does influence the qualities that individuals desire in a partner and the way that they present themselves in their profile information.
Along with collaborators Dr. Corey Flanders and Dr. Dana Arakawa, I investigated the impact of group membership (all women, all men, or mixed gender) and perceptions of a male target engaging in a gender-typical (i.e., fixing a car) and gender-atypical (i.e., washing dishes) task. Interestingly, despite women being more likely to endorse egalitarian beliefs, the all women groups tended to rate the male target character as less masculine when engaging in a traditionally female task of washing dishes than the women in the mixed gender group. Likewise, men in the all men groups tended to rate the male target as more masculine when engaging in the traditionally male task of fixing a car than men in the mixed gender group. Overall, gendered group membership tended to exacerbate adherence to gender norms.
In collaboration with Nicolyn Charlot, a former research assistant, I evaluated qualitative responses from her study investigating the role of masculinity in jealousy (primed using a mate poaching scenario). This qualitative data includes responses from men describing times when they felt either highly masculine or highly emasculated. Using a thematic analysis, results demonstrated common experiences related to reversed (heterosexual) gender roles, athletic/physical abilities, and being in a position of responsibility, among others.
My Dissertation research involved experimentally manipulating individuals' sense of power (see Galinsky, Gruenfeld & Magee, 2003) and evaluating the resulting change in participants' sociosexuality and attraction to specific facial features. Results demonstrated that sense of power (or lack thereof) does indeed have a direct impact on willingness to engage in casual sex. Importantly, this influence is moderated by goal direction. In other words, when primed with a mating goal (i.e., identifying images found most attractive), women primed for high power are more interested in casual sex and show more attraction to masculinized faces, thus enacted goal pursuit behavior. However, when this goal is not directed, women primed for high power are less interested in casual sex, which supports arguments made by sexual strategies theory that women should prefer committed sex whenever possible.
I supervised an Honors Thesis project for T.N. Conley focusing on the mental health of transgender individuals and the role of community and family in social support. Together we analyzed qualitative responses to their survey, and found that for many participants family was not a primary source of support. In fact, for many people their family was no longer a part of their lives. Instead, for most participants, having friends within the transgender community provided the greatest source of support. This project will be presented at the 2017 Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality conference, so stay tuned for the poster. For a copy of T.N's thesis presentation, click the header "An Exploration of Transgender and Genderqueer Mental Health and Community Relationships."
Claire Canfield was born in Austin, Texas and raised in Portland, Oregon. She is currently a senior at the University of Puget Sound, where she is working on her degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish Language, Culture and Literature. Claire’s research interests include the influence of identity factors and personality dimensions on social perception, as well as the impact that such perceptions can have on hiring decisions, voting biases, and other forms of discrimination. She hopes to pursue a career in social or measurement psychology.
My Research lab
My lab focuses on research related to gender norms, conditional mating strategies, and the influence of power on sexual behaviors. Our current research is investigating ways that professor "outness" is related to students' perceptions of professor qualifications, capability, and approachability in a Gender and Queer Studies course. We are also conducting research investigating how the lack of essentialist beliefs toward one social identity (i.e., sexual orientation) may be related to the potential lack of essentialist beliefs regarding other social categories (i.e., gender and race).
Current Research Assistants:
Click Here to see a poster of Claire's summer research!
Undergraduate research assistants are an imperative part of my research program, and aid in a multitude of ways from research design to data analysis. As a research and academic advisor, it is important to me that my research assistants also have the opportunity to develop their own research interests, design and conduct their own studies, and present at national conferences. Below is a list of current and past research assistants.Type your paragraph here.
Mason Culbertson is a rising junior at the university of Puget Sound. He is studying Psychology and has research ambitions in the fields of sexual and social psychology. Mason is a military child and has lived in several states and countries. Mason has career goals to become a clinical psychologist, and aims to focus his work on military family dynamics, specifically the opportunities and challenges military children face and how these affect their development and identities