The Women's Integrative Sexual Health (WISH) lab is an interdisciplinary lab that studies the interactions between women and gender minority people's sexual, reproductive, mental and physical health.

Lab group photo

Some questions we are researching include:

How can we reduce health disparities in sexual minority women?

  • e.g., How might substance use habits relate to sexual arousal and/or interest patterns in women who identify as a sexual minority?

How do the mind and body work together to create sexual desire, arousal, and pleasure?

  • e.g., How do changes in inflammation and hormones relate to changes in sexual desire and arousal?
  • e.g., How does low sexual desire relate to chronic inflammation and cardiovascular health in women?
  • e.g., How is sexual function and vaginal health influenced by different types of sexual lubricants?

Why do some people experience health problems during reproductive transitions, such as pregnancy or menopause?

  • e.g., How do hormonal changes interact with social and behavioral changes during postpartum to act on sexual welbeing?

Why is sexual violence a unique driver of sexual, mental and physical health problems?

  • e.g., How do the sexual health effects of daily stress, traumatic stress, and discrimination stress differ?
  • e.g., How does a history of childhood sexual abuse change immune responses to sexual stimulation in adulthood?

To answer these and other questions, we use methods from multiple fields, including measures of hormones and immune markers, psychophysiological measures of sexual and autonomic arousal, neural imaging, clinical trials, surveys and interviews. 

Please explore our Research page to learn more about current projects, Publications page for completed studies, and our People page to learn more about the research assistants, graduate students and collaborators who support this lab.