Sara Chadwick

Position title: Assistant Professor of Gender & Women's Studies and Psychology, UW–Madison


Department of Psychology

Department of Gender & Women’s Studies

Personal Bio 

Dr. Chadwick is a feminist social psychologist who uses diverse methods (surveys, interviews, experiments, national databases) and interdisciplinary approaches from Psychology, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Public Health to study gender, coercion, orgasm, sexual desire, and other aspects of sexuality. Her research focuses on identifying and assessing “gray-area” forms of sexual coercion and dating abuse – that is, negative or problematic experiences and behaviors that do not fit normative definitions of sexual or dating violence. Her research is also deeply invested in understanding how such experiences differ for women, men, and gender/sexual minorities (e.g., trans, nonbinary, bisexual, lesbian/gay) and contribute to sexual and psychological health disparities (sexual functioning, psychological distress, STI/HIV risk). Dr. Chadwick is currently working on projects related to orgasm coercion and intimate partner violence, dating-app facilitated sexual violence, condom coercion, and the heteronormativity theory of low sexual desire in women partnered with men.

Selected publications

van Anders, S. M., Schudson, Z. C., Beischel, W J., & Chadwick, S. B. (in press). Feminist and queer science: Principles for research with gender, sex, and sexuality in Psychology and beyond. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.

Chadwick, S. B., & van Anders, S. M. (2022). Orgasm coercion and negative relationship and psychological outcomes: The role of gender, sexual identity, perpetration tactics, and perceptions of the perpetrator’s intentions. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51, 653-671.

Chadwick, S. B., Francisco, M., & van Anders, S. M. (2019). When orgasms do not equal pleasure: Accounts of “bad” orgasm experiences during consensual sexual encounters. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48, 2435-2459.

Chadwick, S. B., Burke, S. M., Goldey, K. L., Bell, S. N., & van Anders, S. M. (2017). Sexual desire in sexual minority and majority women and men: The multifaceted sexual desire questionnaire. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 2465-2484.