Justin Garcia

Justin R. Garcia, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Senior Scientist

Ruth N. Halls Professor of Gender Studies

Dr. Justin Garcia is an evolutionary biologist and sex researcher. He trained under Dr. David Sloan Wilson (SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology, Binghamton University) and then conducted a National Institutes of Health T32 postdoctoral research fellowship under former Kinsey Institute Director Dr. Julia Heiman (Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences & Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Indiana University). His research program focuses on the evolutionary and biocultural foundations of romantic and sexual relationships across the life course.

Garcia and colleagues have conducted research on a variety of topics related to social and sexual behaviors and intimate relationships, including variation in monogamy, intimacy, gender, courtship, dating, desire, satisfaction, and reproductive strategies. A specialist in interdisciplinary collaboration, Garcia’s research draws from and cuts across multiple fields of study. This approach aids his lab's exploration of the relationship context of sexuality, including the meaning, expression, and impact of romantic and sexual attitudes and behaviors.

Professor Garcia has a dual faculty appointment with the Kinsey Institute and Department of Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is also Co-Chair of the Interdepartmental Graduate Committee on Human Sexuality, which directs the PhD minor in Human Sexuality. In addition, he is adjunct faculty with the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, and holds affiliate faculty appointments with the IU Network Science Institute and the Cognitive Science program at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he is also a Research Fellow with the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention in the School of Public Health – Bloomington.

Since 2010, Garcia serves as Scientific Advisor to Match.com. In this role, Garcia provides expertise to Singles in America (SIA), the online dating company's annual study on the attitudes and behaviors of single people in the United States.

Garcia has appeared in a wide variety of news outlets and documentaries, including CNN, MSNBC, HBO, "The Dr. Oz Show," Netflix and National Geographic, and his research and expertise have been featured in venues such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Cosmopolitan and Vanity Fair.

Dr. Garcia has served as the Executive Director of the Kinsey Institute since 2019.

 (812) 855-7686

428 Lindley Hall
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405


  • Ph.D., Evolutionary Biology, Binghamton University (SUNY)
  • M.S., Biomedical Anthropology, Binghamton University (SUNY)
  • Certificate, Evolutionary Studies, Binghamton University (SUNY)
  • B.A. Neuroscience & Behavioral Development, Binghamton University (SUNY)

Research interests

  • Behavioral biology
  • Evolutionary behavioral sciences
  • Gender studies
  • Intimate relationships
  • Romantic love
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexual and reproductive health  
  • Social/sexual monogamy

Selected publications


Gray, P. B., Garcia, J. R., (2013). Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Fisher, M.L., Garcia, J. R., Chang, R. S. (2013). Evolution's Empress: Darwinian Perspectives on the Nature of Women. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Journal articles and book chapters

Garcia, J.R., Gesselman, A.N., Massey, S.G., Seibold-Simpson, S.M., & Merriwether, A.M. (2018). Intimacy through casual sex: Relational context of sexual activity and affectionate behaviors. Journal of Relationships Research, 9, e12, 1-10.

Fisher, H.E. & Garcia, J.R. (2018). Slow Love: Courtship in the digital age. In R.J. Sternberg & K. Sternberg (Eds.), The New Psychology of Love (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press.

Frederick, D.A., Lever, J., Gillespie, B.J., & Garcia, J.R. (2017). What keeps passion alive? Sexual satisfaction is associated with sexual communication, mood setting, sexual variety, oral sex, orgasm, and sex frequency in a national U.S. study. Journal of Sex Research, 54(2), 186-201.

Ta, V.P., Gesselman, A.N., Perry, B.L., Fisher, H.E., & Garcia, J.R. (2017). Stress of singlehood: Marital status, domain-specific stress, and anxiety in a national U.S. sample. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 36(6), 461-485.

Garcia, J.R., Gesselman, A.N., Siliman, S.A., Perry, B.L., Coe, K., & Fisher, H.E. (2016). Sexting among singles in the U.S.A.: Prevalence of sending, receiving, and sharing sexual messages and images. Sexual Health, 13(5), 428-435.

Gray, P.B., Franco, C., Garcia, J.R., Gesselman, A.N., & Fisher, H.E. (2016). Romantic dating attitudes and behaviors among single parents in the U.S. Personal Relationships, 23(3), 491-504.

Garcia, J.R., Heywood, L.L. (2016). Moving toward integrative feminist evolutionary behavioral sciences. Feminism & Psychology, 26(3), 327-334.

Garcia, J.R., Seibold-Simpson, S.M., Massey, S.G., Merriwether, A.M. (2015). Casual Sex: Integrating social, behavioral, and sexual health research. In J. DeLamater R.F. Plante (Eds.), Handbook of the Sociology of Sexualities, (pp. 203-222). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Jankowiak, W.R., Volsche, S.L., Garcia, J.R. (2015). Is the romantic-sexual kiss a near human universal? American Anthropologist, 117(3), 535-539.


Public scholarship (selected)


  • Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age (HBO)
  • Sex: How it Works (National Geographic)
  • Why Powerful Men Cheat (A&E Biography Channel)
  • The Sex Researchers (Channel 4, UK)
  • From Kiss to Kiss: The Biochemistry of Love (Mona Lisa Production, France)

Presentations & interviews

Sex And Relationships In The Post-Pandemic Digital Age
Commonwealth Club of California

Also available as a podcast at https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/sex-and-relationships-post-pandemic-digital-age

The Fall and Rise of Dating in America

The Science of Better Sex

HumanLab: The Science Between Us

What Are The Social Implications Of Online Dating?
Indiana Newsdesk, WTIU

Recent awards

  • 2019: IU Bicentennial Professorship, Office of the President, Indiana University
  • 2018: Hugo G. Beigel Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality [Authors: D.A. Frederick, J. Lever, B.J. Gillespie, J.R. Garcia]
  • 2017: Gordon Faculty Award, Division of Student Affairs, Indiana University
  • 2017: Oustanding Junior Faculty Award, Office of the Vice Provost for Research & Office of the Vice Provost for faculty and Academic Affairs, Indiana University


  • 2010–present
    Scientific Advisor, Match
  • 2016-2017
    Sex Education Advisory Board, WCG (WomanCare Global)
  • 2016-2017
    Scientific Consultant, Teva Women's Health
  • 2015–2016
    Scientific Consultant, K-Y Brand

Recent grants, contracts, and other funding (selected)

  • 2010-present
    Singles in America (SIA). Match.com.
    Role: Principal Investigator (with Dr. Helen Fisher)
  • 2014-2019
    The College Toolbox Project (CTP). Bring Change 2 Mind (BC2M).
    Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Dr. Bernice Pescosolido)
  • 2017
    Dr. Anita Aldrich Sexual Health Research Fund
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • 2016-2017
    Emergency Contraceptives KAP Survey of U.S. College Students. Teva Pharmaceutical industry.
    Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PI: Dr. Amanda Gesselman)
  • 2015-2016
    K-Y Brand Touch Initiative. Reckitt Benckiser.
    Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PI: Dr. Amanda Gesselman)
  • 2015-2016
    You Are Who You Eat With: Relationships, social networks, and obesity. Collaborative Research and Creative Activity Funding Award, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Indiana University Bloomington.
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator

CV available upon request

IU Signature