Meredith L. Chivers (born December 1, 1972) is a Canadian psychologist who researches women’s sexuality. A Northwestern University graduate student of J. Michael Bailey, Chivers then took a position at the notorious Toronto clinic at CAMH in 2002.
Bailey, the eugenicist who wrote The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. Many consider this the most defamatory book on gender variance since 1979.
Chivers has joined the International Academy of Sex Research and the editorial board at the journal they control, the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
She was a TA for David Uttal at NU’s Psych 110
She wrote this with Bailey:
Chivers, Meredith L.; Bailey, J. Michael
Sexual Orientation of Female-to-Male Transsexuals: A Comparison of Homosexual and Nonhomosexual Types
Archives of Sexual Behavior; 29 (3):259-278
Homosexual and nonhomosexual (relative to genetic sex) female-to-male transsexuals (FTMs) were compared on a number of theoretically or empirically derived variables. Compared to nonhomosexual FTMs, homosexual FTMs reported greater childhood gender nonconformity, preferred more feminine partners, experienced greater sexual rather than emotional jealousy, were more sexually assertive, had more sexual partners, had a greater desire for phalloplasty, and had more interest in visual sexual stimuli. Homosexual and nonhomosexual FTMs did not differ in their overall desire for masculinizing body modifications, adult gender identity, or importance of partner social status, attractiveness, or youth. These findings indicate that FTMs are not a homogeneous group and vary in ways that may be useful in understanding the relation between sexual orientation and gender identity.
IU’s Kinsey Institute at center of sex research in week’s conference
Annual seminar gives researchers chance to discuss face-to-face
By Bonnie Real
Published Thursday, July 17, 2003
This week, the Kinsey Institute will play host to the 29th annual conference for the International Academy of Sex Research. Lectures and seminars in the Indiana Memorial Union will cover a broad range of topics in the field of sex research, and a poster session will allow researchers to share their knowledge with each other. Participants also will have access to the Kinsey art gallery and library.
“It’s a very positive thing for the Kinsey Institute,” said Nancy Lethem, director of development at the Kinsey Institute. “The world’s prominent researchers are coming to the Kinsey Institute to collaborate about their research and inform each other about what’s going on in various parts of the world.”
Jennifer Bass, head of information services for the Kinsey Institute, said the institute is honored to play host to the event for the second time. She said the conference will take a very interdisciplinary look at sex research and that individuals from many different departments will have ideas to share.
“Sex research is one of the most isolated fields in social science research and medical research, because there are few places like the Kinsey Institute dedicated to sex research,” she said.
In accordance with this year’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Alfred Kinsey’s book, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female,” female sexuality will be highlighted at the conference as well. Cynthia Graham, an assistant professor of Psychology and director of graduate education at the Kinsey Institute, will present a symposium called “Researching women’s sexuality: New initiatives from the Kinsey Institute.”
Meredith Chivers, who studies female sexuality at Northwestern University and traveled to the conference from Toronto, said she is particularly interested in the exploration of this topic.
“What I’m most looking forward to is having an opportunity to see where research in female sexuality is in lots of disciplines,” Chivers said. “I’m interested in seeing the contributions being made in the field of female sexuality and enriching my own ideas.”
Chivers said conferences like this are important because it is a chance to come face to face with other people in the field and see who is behind the research they have been reading.
“Sitting down and shooting ideas to each other is the real exciting part of conferences,” Chivers said.
The IASR conference will continue until Saturday.
For more information about the International Academy of Sex Research, visit www.iasr.org.
Sexuality research funding draws critics
By Jennifer Leopoldt
July 10, 2003
Psychology Prof. J. Michael Bailey’s recent research on sexual arousal has drawn objections from some members of Congress. One of the students who worked with Bailey on the research will speak at a conference on sexuality about their findings. Daily file photo
A Northwestern Ph.D. candidate will present results of sexual arousal research she conducted with NU Prof. J. Michael Bailey — which has drawn criticism from the Republican wing of Congress — when she speaks at a federally-funded sexuality conference next week.
The conference, slated for July 16-21 at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Ind., according to the organization’s Web site, has drawn ire from politicians who do not think taxpayer money should help fund the event.
The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is providing $26,000 for the conference. The event, which allows experts in the field of sexual arousal to discuss research with each other, also is receiving funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and private assistance from the Social Science Research Council.
Some politicians, including U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), argued that the government is “out of touch” if it thinks federal money should fund sexual arousal studies.
“The federal government is pretty efficient at wasting money, but this may be a new low,” Flake said in a prepared statement. “If this conference needs funding, they ought to hit up Larry Flynt, not taxpayers.”
But Meredith Chivers, a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at NU who will speak about sexual arousal research she conducted with Bailey, said the conference does merit funding.
“Sexuality is an intrinsic part of being human and it’s a major oversight not to encourage research in this area and to support it,” Chivers said.
Bailey, a psychology professor who teaches human sexuality at NU, also defended the need for researchers to study sexuality.
“Sex is an extremely important part of life,” said Bailey, who recently released “The Man Who Would Be Queen,” a book that explores homosexual, heterosexual and transsexual arousal. “We have to know what arouses people sexually to know how people function.”
Like the conference, Bailey and Chivers’ sexual arousal study also encountered criticism for obtaining government funding.
A $147,000 National Institutes of Health grant funded the research, which studied the effect of pornography on females to determine whether sexual arousal is as category specific for women as it is for men. That allocation prompted 20 Republican members of Congress, including Flake, to write to the director of the National Institutes of Health and ask him to explain the “bizarre spending decision.”
Another congressman, Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), questioned the decision to fund sexuality research and conferences when money could go toward researching other diseases.
“How do we explain to the millions of Americans facing death and severely debilitating diseases and disorders that research to cure their disease was a lower priority for the (National Institutes of Health)?” Weldon wrote in an e-mail July 9.
But Bailey said the funding he received for the research should not be an issue.
“The amount of money spent on (my research) compared to others is tiny, a very small grant for (National Institutes of Health) standards,” Bailey said.
Chivers said she was surprised at the controversy over funding for Bailey’s research and the sexuality conference. Bailey said he thought politicians singled out his and Chivers’ research because “it was easy for them to mischaracterize and make fun of.”
“They used our research to make their argument, but in fact I think our research is important and interesting, and scientists who know about the issues and what we’re doing have found it really cool,” he said.
The arousal study showed that while watching pornography men had a one-sided arousal pattern — straight men were aroused by clips with women, gay men by those with men. But females in the study, straight or gay, were aroused by both male and female sex acts. The results could be published in “Psychological Science” by 2004, Chivers said.
The Summer Northwestern’s Jinna Yun contributed to this report.
Taking a page from Bailey’s lazy data collection methods, and taking criticism just as personally:
Study on Differences in Female, Male Sexuality https://news.feinberg.northwestern.edu/2003/06/sexuality/
Chivers was on the 2004 schedule to speak at the Society for Scientific Study of Sexuality about bisexuality in women:
The Vagina Dialogues: Women’s Sexual Arousal and Sexual Plasticity Meredith L. Chivers, Ph.D