Previous Kinsey Institute Lectures


Rachel Gross, author of Vagina Obscura

Rachel E. Gross
is an award-winning science journalist based in Brooklyn. She is the author of Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2022. Vagina Obscura tells the story of how early anatomists mapped our lady parts—and how a new generation is wresting them back.

 Female Sexual Dysfunctions: From traumatic brain injury in the American Woman, to the “ordinary” Ghanaian Woman
Martina Anto-Ocrah, Ph.D.

Dr. Martina Anto-Ocrah is an epidemiologst and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research lab focuses on reproductive epidemiology, social media & digital health, and global health. She is particularly interested in sex/gender disparities with an emphasis on women's health.


"Preparing for the post-Roe: Lessons from El Salvador"

Jocelyn Viterna is Professor of Sociology and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Harvard University. Her current research examines how the passage of anti-abortion legislation in El Salvador has transformed the Salvadoran legal, judicial, and medical systems, with powerful and negative consequences for the health and freedom of pregnant people living there.

Video available on Vimeo


"Higher Education & LGBTQ+ Students": Cindy Ann Kilgo, Ph.D.

Cindy Ann Kilgo is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University.

Their research focuses on the impact of college on students. Specifically, they focus on the influence of “high-impact” educational practices on students’ learning and development, minoritized students’ collegiate experiences (focus on LGBTQ+ students), and institutional change processes toward more inclusive and just campus environments.  

Video available on Vimeo

"Transgender and Minority Health": Laura Knudson, M.D.

Laura Knudson is a Family Medicine physician at the Student Health Center for Indiana University-Bloomington. She is also a founding member and current chair of the Gender Affirming Care Team, a multidisciplinary group at the Student Health Center formed to provide excellent trans-competent healthcare for gender diverse students.

Video available on Vimeo

"Female Husbands and Queer Wives": Jen Manion, PhD

Jen Manion is Associate Professor of History at Amherst College. She is a social and cultural historian whose work examines the role of gender and sexuality in American life. Manion is author of Liberty’s Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America (Penn, 2015) which received the inaugural Mary Kelley Best Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Their most recent book, Female Husbands: A Trans History (Cambridge, 2020) was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Video available on Vimeo

"Love and COVID: An Interview with Dr. Justin Garcia"

Dr. Jessica Hille speaks with Dr. Justin Garcia about findings  from recent Kinsey Institute research about COVID-19 and relationships.

Dr. Justin Garcia is the Executive Director of the Kinsey Institute. Dr. Garcia’s research into the evolutionary and biocultural foundations of intimate relationships across the life course has been featured in notable publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time, and he has appeared to give expert commentary on numerous media outlets. He is a key member of the Kinsey Institute’s COVID-19 research team into the pandemic’s effects on sexuality and intimate relationships, and in 2018, he was appointed a Bicentennial Professor at Indiana University.

Dr. Jessica Hille is the Assistant Director for Education at the Kinsey Institute. Dr. Hille received her Ph.D. from the Department of Gender Studies at IU and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on sexuality, diversity, and relationships. 

Video available on Vimeo

SYMPOSIUM: "31 Photographs: ‘Obscenity,’ Censorship, and Academic Freedom"

A 4-week symposium hosted by the Kinsey Institute exploring government surveillance and censorship, and the importance of free expression in a democratic society. 

These talks are inspired by the history and ongoing impact of a 1956 U.S. customs case in which 31 photographs and other materials being shipped to the Kinsey Institute (then the Institute for Sex Research) were seized for being “obscene” under the laws of the day. IU president Herman B Wells sided with the Institute and the principles of academic freedom, and a federal court ultimately ruled in Kinsey and IU’s favor.

More than six decades later, Indiana University carries on Herman B Wells’ legacy as a champion of free academic inquiry. The symposium will feature talks related to censorship and academic freedom, art and obscenity, and the relationship between democracy and how free people are to express themselves. Speakers will explore the role of government in shaping what is deemed ‘acceptable,’ particularly as it relates to sexuality and sexual expression, and how individuals and institutions can challenge censorship to promote free expression and democratic values.

This event was sponsored by Themester 2020, an initiative of the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

Click to watch on our Vimeo channel


Dr. Jennifer Piatt: "What Women Are Saying about Sexual Health Following Spinal Cord Injury"

Sexual health takes on an entirely new meaning for women following a spinal cord injury (SCI). The majority of sexual health information provided during the rehabilitation process is often focused on men, excluding the conversation of sex for women. Dr. Piatt’s team has interviewed women living with an SCI to better understand their needs concerning sexuality and intimacy. Sexual health education is sometimes provided in the rehabilitation hospital, yet can be disproportionately focused on men, or untimely, or even entirely absent.

Dr. Piatt is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, Indiana University. Dr. Piatt completed a research fellowship in spinal cord injury medicine at the University of Utah. Her team at IU is currently working on two additional research projects focused on sexual health, telemedicine, and women living with mobility impairments.

Cancelled - Dr. Sarah Knott, IU Dept of History

Postponed - Alfred C. Kinsey Distinguished Researcher Award: Dr. William Fisher

Endowed by donors in 2018, the Alfred C. Kinsey Distinguished Researcher Award honors renowned scientists and academics who shape our understanding of human sexuality through their sex research. The recipient is chosen each year by Kinsey Institute faculty, and is invited to give a public lecture on the Indiana University Bloomington campus.


Dr. Simon Cook: "Project Geldom: Development of the Next Generation Hydrogel Condom"

With a background in microbiology and bacterial pathogenesis, Dr. Cook is an Early Career Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. Following a "Grand Challenges" call for a "next generation condom" from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Cook received funding, and is now the lead investigator on Project Geldom, a research endeavor battling the world's rising rates of STIs, HIV, and unplanned pregnancy. Project Geldom's goal is to replace latex condoms using hydrogel materials.

Dr. Cook was a visiting scholar at the Kinsey Institute in Fall 2019.

Jessica Lynn: "My Story So Far..."

Jessica Lynn is a world-renowned transgender advocate, educator, and activist. Her experience as a transgender woman and parent led her to dedicate her life to spreading awareness and acceptance for gender non-conforming communities around the world. Over the past several years, Jessica has crisscrossed the globe sharing the story of her journey in more than 750 presentations in 27 countries. Because of her dynamic, refreshingly honest speaking style and signature "ask me anything" Q&A sessions, Jessica is now internationally recognized to be one of the foremost transgender speakers.

Dr. Lucia O'Sullivan: “Assessing the Tripwires of Relationship Exclusivity: How Infidelity Evolves Despite a Strong Standard of Monogamy”

Few events in life cause more personal distress than learning an intimate partner has been unfaithful. A large body of work, however, reveals that many partners do not maintain exclusivity in their relationships despite strong intentions to do so.

Dr. Lucia O’Sullivan’s research addresses the interface of sexuality and intimate relationships, including the impact of new digital technologies on close relationships, with a primary focus on adolescents and young adults. Another line of research focuses on barriers and facilitators to access to sexual health care and services.

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