Meredith Chivers is a Ph.D. graduate in clinical psychology from Northwestern
University and currently working at Toronto's notorious Clarke
Institute, also known as Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Chivers is a protege of J. Michael 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.
Chivers has coauthored the science by press release study with Bailey and two
other grad students: Gerulf Rieger, and
Chivers was also at the IASR conference when Bailey got his intellectual bitchslap
from John Bancroft, MD, Director of the
Kinsey Institute. Commenting on
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
"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
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
Another congressman, Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), questioned the decision to
fund sexuality research and conferences when money could go toward researching
"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
"The amount of money spent on (my research) compared to others is tiny,
a very small grant for (National Institutes of Health) standards," Bailey
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:
Chivers was on the 2004 schedule to speak at the Society
for Scientific Study of Sexuality about bisexuality in women:
The Vagina Dialogues: Womens Sexual Arousal and Sexual Plasticity Meredith
L. Chivers, Ph.D.