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Julia R. Heiman
Senior Research Fellow
Director, 2004-2013
The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Department of Clinical Psychiatry
Indiana University

Psychological and Brain Sciences
Indiana University
1101 E. 10 St.
Bloomington, IN. 47405
Phone: 812-855-4234

Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1975
Predoctoral Internship, Stony Brook Psychological Center and Patchogue Medford School System, 1974
B.A. (Psychology), Arizona State University, 1970
Research Statement

Dr. Julia Heiman has devoted her career to achieving a better understanding of the physiological and emotional dimensions of sexuality. Her research is also concerned with developing successful interventions to help people overcome sexual problems. "From the beginning," Dr. Heiman explains, "I've been interested in how sexuality changes, either on its own or with some kind of external effort. How do we come up with newer and better ways to measure aspects of sexuality?"

These questions organize her approach to a wide range of topics, including the quality of sexual experience in the wake of treatment for cancer; sexual risk-taking when under the influence of alcohol; the impact of childhood sexual abuse and physical abuse on adult relationships; and sex therapy for couples when one partner is using Viagra. "I'm interested in how sex fits within other aspects of a person's life, instead of conceiving of it as separate from the other ways people function, think, or feel."

A number of Dr. Heiman's recent projects focus on identifying appropriate treatments for people who are experiencing sexual difficulty. "Findings from an early study of couples showed that sex therapy without medical intervention does help a number of people. We want to know who is likely to benefit from this kind of therapy, and who might need a different kind of treatment."

Research Interests
  • treatments for sexual difficulty
  • the impact of treatments for sexual difficulty on relationships
  • cross-cultural definitions of sexual satisfaction
  • sexual abuse and aggression
  • depression and sex
  • quality of sex experience in the wake of cancer
  • impact of childhood sexual abuse on adult relationships
  • sexual risk-taking
  • physiological and emotional dimensions of sexuality
Selected Publications
Heiman, J.R. Long, J.S. Smith, S.N. Fisher, W.A., Sand, M.S. and Rosen, R.C. (2011). Sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness in midlife and older couples in five countries. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 741- 753. DOI 10.1007/s10508-010-9703-3.
Heiman, J.R., Rupp, H., Janssen, E, Newhouse, S.K., Brauer, M., & Laan, E. (2011). Sexual desire, sexual arousal and hormonal differences in premenopausal US and Dutch women with and without low sexual desire. Hormones and Behavior, 59, 613-615. DOI:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2011.03.013
Brotto, L.A., Heiman, J.R. & Tolman, D.L. (2009). Narratives of desire in mid-age women with and without arousal difficulties. Journal of Sex Research, 46, 387-399.
Aubin, S., Heiman, J.R., Berger, R.E., Murallo, A.V., &Yung-Wen, L. (2009).Comparing sildenafil alone vs. sildenafil plus brief couple sex therapy on erectile dysfunction and couples' sexual and marital quality of life: a pilot study. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 35, 22-43.
Nurnberg, H.G., Hensley, P.L., Heiman, J.R., Croft, H.A., Debattista, C., & Paine, S. (2008). Sildenafil Treatment of Women With Antidepressant-Associated Sexual Dysfunction. Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(4): 395-404.
Sand, M.S., Fisher, W., Rosen, R., Heiman, J., and Eardley, I. (2008). Erectile Dysfunction and Constructs of Masculinity and Quality of Life in the Multinational Menís Attitudes to Life Events and Sexuality (MALES) Study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5 (3): 583-594.
Heiman, J., Talley, D., Bailen, J., Oskin, T., Rosenberg, S., Pace, C., Creanga, D., Bavendam, T. (2007). Sexual function and satisfaction in heterosexual couples when men are administered sildenafil citrate (Viagra®) for erectile dysfunction: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2006.01128.x.
Heiman, J.R. & Maravilla, K. R. (2006). Female sexual arousal response using serial MR Imaging with initial comparisons to vaginal photoplethysmography: Overview and evaluation. In E. Janssen (Ed.), The Psychophysiology of Sex. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Moore, D.R. & Heiman, J.R. (2005). Women's sexuality in context: Relationship factors and female sexual functioning. In I. Goldstein, C. Meston, S. Davis, & A. Traish (eds.), Female Sexual Dysfunction. New York: Parthenon.
Heiman, J.R., Verhulst, J., & Heard-Davison, A. (2003). Childhood sexuality and adult sexual relationships: How are they connected by data and by theory? In Bancroft, J. (Ed.), Sexual Development (pp. 404-420). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Heiman, J.R. (2002). Psychologic treatments for female sexual dysfunction: Are they effective and do we need them? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31, 445-450.

For a full list of Kinsey Institute research publications, with selected .pdf files, please visit our Kinsey Institute Staff Publications page.

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