Dr. Sari van Anders
Canada 150 Research Chair in Social Neuroendocrinology, Sexuality, & Gender/Sex;
Professor of Psychology, Social Personality
Department of Gender Studies, & Neuroscience
Queen’s University

New Ways of Visualizing Gender/Sex and Sexual Diversity with "Sexual Configurations Theory"

Sexual orientation is largely conceptualized and measured as the gender (or sex) of those an individual is attracted to relative to their own. But this understanding has limitations that are increasingly recognized by researchers, communities, and individuals. In this talk, Dr. van Anders will describe a new theory – sexual configurations theory (SCT) – that lays out models, understandings, and measures of gender/sex and sexual diversity. These include concepts like “gender/sex sexuality”, “partner number sexuality”, and “branchedness/coincidence” within a status/identity/orientation framework. Dr. van Anders will share results from qualitative and quantitative research with SCT that include lived experiences and “heatmaps” of gender/sexuality. Throughout the talk, Dr. van Anders will highlight how SCT is a way to study and conceptualize gender/sexual diversity in ways that are arguably more empirical, accurate, and just.