Sara Chadwick

Position title: Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies, and Psychology


3318 Sterling Hall, 475 N Charter Street, Madison, WI

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Area(s)
Gender and Women’s Studies

Research Interests
Broadly, I use 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. I am especially interested in 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. My work 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).

I am 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.

Representative Publications
Chadwick, S.B., & van Anders, S.M. (2022). Orgasm Coercion: Overlaps between pressuring someone to orgasm and sexual coercion. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51, 633-651.

Chadwick, S.B. & van Anders, S.M. (2022). What happens when people refuse to go along with orgasm coercion? An assessment of refusal strategies, perpetrators’ subsequent reactions, and relationship and psychological outcomes. Psychology & Sexuality. Advance online publication.

Chadwick, S.B. & van Anders, S.M. (2022). Orgasm coercion and its associations with negative relationship and psychological outcomes among cisgender women, cisgender men, and gender/sex minorities. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51, 653-671.

van Anders, S.M., Herbenick, D., Brotto, L.A., Harris, E.A., & Chadwick, S.B. (2022). The heteronormativity theory of low sexual desire in women partnered with men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51, 391-415.

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., Raisanen, J.C., Goldey, K.L., & van Anders, S.M. (2018). Strategizing to make pornography worthwhile: A qualitative exploration of women’s agentic strategies with sexual media. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(6), 1853-1868.

Chadwick, S.B. & van Anders, S.M. (2017). Do women’s orgasms function as a masculinity achievement for men? Journal of Sex Research, 54(9), 1141-1152.