People

Dr Gerulf Rieger

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Department of Psychology
Dr Gerulf Rieger
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 873712

  • Location

    4.714, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Gerulf Rieger's current teaching responsibilities include Human Sexuality (PS498), Research Methods in Psychology (PS114), Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience (PS929), Special Topics in Individual Differences and Developmental Psychology (PS938), and the supervision of Third Year Projects (PS300).

Profile

Biography

Gerulf Rieger obtained a MSc in Biological Anthropology from the University of Zurich in Switzerland and a PhD in Personality Psychology from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Gerulf had a teaching position at Northwestern University and was a research fellow in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University before joining the Social and Health Psychology Group at the University of Essex.

Qualifications

  • 2015, FHEA, The Higher Education Academy

  • 2006, PhD, Personality Psychology, Northwestern University

  • 2004, MSc, Personality Psychology, Northwestern University

  • 1999, MSc, Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Zurich

  • 1995, BS, Biology, University of Vienna, Austria

Research and professional activities

Research interests

General Research Interests: My work has focused on sexual orientation: how it develops, how it is organized, and how it affects a person’s life. I use a wide diversity of methodologies, ranging from behavioral observation, to physiological sexual activity, to twin designs, and employ an array of quantitative skills, in order to pursue my research. I have used childhood videos and photographs to examine how behavioral signals of early masculinity-femininity predict adult sexual orientation. I have studied identical twins with discordant sexual orientations to quantify the nongenetic impact on their development. I study genital sexual arousal to gather objective information on sex differences that pure self-report studies could never reveal: in women bisexual arousal is common across sexual orientations, whereas in men bisexual arousal is possible, but rare. I validated a non-intrusive measure of sexual arousal, pupil dilation, which will allow studying diverse age groups or different cultures, and for whom genital arousal measures are unsuitable. My studies have broad relevance for understanding the development of differences between and within the sexes, and for how people perceive themselves and others.

Current research

My former student (and now colleague!) Tuesday Watts and I have finished several studies on the development of sexual orientation. We were (and still are for future work) recruiting identical twins with discordant sexual orientations; that is, heterosexual twins with homosexual co-twins. Since these twin pairs are virtually genetically identical, any differences must be due to the environment – so, is it all due to their upbringing after all?

My previous student Jamie Raines and I examined to what degree female-to-male transsexuals and male-to-female transsexuals are similar to, or different from, heterosexual and homosexual men and women. This work includes the very first study that will assess the genital arousal patterns of female-to-male transsexuals.

My previous student (and now colleague!) Luke Holmes and I were studying why the large majority of heterosexual women show bisexual genital arousal patterns, whereas lesbians show, on average, stronger genital responses to their preferred sex (women). Why are their arousal patterns so different, and not necessarily in line with their sexual orientations? We also examined how both personality and prenatal hormonal influences contribute to theses patterns.

For a complete publication list, please find me on ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gerulf_Rieger

My former student Erlend Slettevold (and now clinical psychologist!) and I studied why some men who identify as bisexual show genital arousal to both men and women, whereas others who identify as bisexual are aroused to either men or women, but not to both. Our hunch was that the difference could be in how kinky a man is - perhaps, if you are very kinky you enjoy sex so much that your partner's gender becomes irrelevant. This didn’t fully work out for us, but this topic is still of interest to me.

My PhD student Chloe Tasker and I will look closer at the unique phenomena that women, and in particular, heterosexual women, get seemingly sexually aroused to everything that is sexual in content. Is this observation correct across different measures of arousal (vaginal pulse and lubrication)? Could women’s personalities and cognitive abilities (e.g., empathy) have something to do with their unique arousal patterns?

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Advanced employability skills and career progression (PS492)

  • Human Sexuality (PS498)

  • Theory and Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology (PS949)

Previous supervision

Luke Holmes
Luke Holmes
Thesis title: Influences of Androgenisation and Personality on Female Sexual Orientation, Behaviour, and Arousal.
Degree subject: Psychology
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 8/4/2021

Publications

Journal articles (50)

Holmes, L., Watts-Overall, TM., Slettevold, E., Gruia, DC. and Rieger, G., (2022). The relationship between finger length ratio, masculinity, and sexual orientation in women: A correlational study. PLOS ONE. 17 (3), e0259637-e0259637

Gruia, DC., Holmes, L., Raines, J., Watts-Overall, TM., Slettevold, E. and Rieger, G., (2022). Stability and change in sexual orientation and genital arousal over time. Journal of Sex Research, 1-11

Holmes, L., Watts-Overall, TM., Slettevold, E., Gruia, DC. and Rieger, G., (2022). Sex Differences in Sexual Arousal and Finger Length Ratio.. Journal of Sex Research. 59 (4), 515-523

Milani, S., Zhang, JY., Zdaniuk, B., Bogaert, A., Rieger, G. and Brotto, LA., (2022). Examining Visual Attention Patterns among Asexual and Heterosexual Individuals. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-11

Raines, J., Holmes, L., Watts-Overall, T., Slettevold, E., Gruia, D., Orbell, S. and Rieger, G., (2021). Patterns of Genital Sexual Arousal in Transgender Men. Psychological Science. 32 (4), 485-495

Holmes, L., Watts-Overall, TM., Slettevold, E., Gruia, DC., Raines, J. and Rieger, G., (2021). Sexual Orientation, Sexual Arousal, and Finger Length Ratios in Women.. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 50 (8), 3419-3432

Sanders, AR., Beecham, GW., Guo, S., Dawood, K., Rieger, G., Krishnappa, RS., Kolundzija, AB., Bailey, JM. and Martin, ER., (2021). Genome-Wide Linkage and Association Study of Childhood Gender Nonconformity in Males.. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 50 (8), 3377-3383

Bailey, JM., Rieger, G., Krishnappa, RS., Kolundzija, AB., Dawood, K. and Sanders, AR., (2020). Familiality of Gender Nonconformity Among Homosexual Men.. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 49 (7), 2461-2468

Rieger, G., Watts-Overall, TM., Holmes, L. and Gruia, DC., (2020). Gender Nonconformity of Identical Twins with Discordant Sexual Orientations: Evidence from Video Recordings. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 49 (7), 2469-2479

Jabbour, J., Holmes, L., Sylva, D., Hsu, KJ., Semon, TL., Rosenthal, AM., Safron, A., Slettevold, E., Watts-Overall, TM., Savin-Williams, RC., Sylla, J., Rieger, G. and Bailey, JM., (2020). Robust evidence for bisexual orientation among men. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117 (31), 18369-18377

Rieger, G., Holmes, L., Watts-Overall, TM., Gruia, DC., Bailey, JM. and Savin-Williams, RC., (2020). Gender Nonconformity of Bisexual Men and Women. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 49 (7), 2481-2495

Watts, TM., Holmes, L., Raines, J., Orbell, S. and Rieger, G., (2019). Correction to: Finger Length Ratios of Identical Twins with Discordant Sexual Orientations. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 48 (3), 995-996

Slettevold, E., Holmes, L., Gruia, D., Nyssen, CP. and Rieger, G., (2019). Bisexual Men with Bisexual and Monosexual Genital Arousal Patterns. Biological Psychology. 148, 107763-107763

Watts, TM., Holmes, L., Raines, J., Orbell, S. and Rieger, G., (2018). Gender Nonconformity of Identical Twins With Discordant Sexual Orientations: Evidence From Childhood Photographs. Developmental Psychology. 54 (4), 788-801

Watts, TM., Holmes, L., Raines, J., Orbell, S. and Rieger, G., (2018). Finger Length Ratios of Identical Twins with Discordant Sexual Orientations. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 47 (8), 2435-2444

Watts, T., Holmes, L., Raines, J., Orbell, S. and Rieger, G., (2018). Sexual arousal patterns of identical twins with discordant sexual orientations. Scientific Reports. 8 (1), 14970-

Watts, TM., Holmes, L., Savin-Williams, RC. and Rieger, G., (2017). Pupil Dilation to Explicit and Non-Explicit Sexual Stimuli. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 46 (1), 155-165

Savin-Williams, RC., Cash, BM., McCormack, M. and Rieger, G., (2017). Gay, Mostly Gay, or Bisexual Leaning Gay? An Exploratory Study Distinguishing Gay Sexual Orientations Among Young Men. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 46 (1), 265-272

Booker, CL., Rieger, G. and Unger, JB., (2017). Sexual orientation health inequality: Evidence from Understanding Society , the UK Longitudinal Household Study. Preventive Medicine. 101, 126-132

Sanders, AR., Beecham, GW., Guo, S., Dawood, K., Rieger, G., Badner, JA., Gershon, ES., Krishnappa, RS., Kolundzija, AB., Duan, J., Shi, J., Levinson, DF., Mowry, BJ., Olincy, A., Amin, F., Cloninger, CR., Svrakic, DM., Silverman, JM., Buccola, NG., Byerley, WF., Black, DW., Freedman, R., Gejman, PV., Bailey, JM. and Martin, ER., (2017). Genome-wide association study of male sexual orientation. Scientific Reports. 7 (1), 16950-

Rigato, S., Rieger, G. and Romei, V., (2016). Multisensory signalling enhances pupil dilation.. Scientific Reports. 6 (1), 26188-

Rieger, G., Savin-Williams, RC., Chivers, ML. and Bailey, JM., (2016). Sexual arousal and masculinity-femininity of women.. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 111 (2), 265-283

Sanders, AR., Martin, ER., Beecham, GW., Guo, S., Dawood, K., Rieger, G., Badner, JA., Gershon, ES., Krishnappa, RS., Kolundzija, AB., Duan, J., Gejman, PV. and Bailey, JM., (2015). Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation. Psychological Medicine. 45 (7), 1379-1388

Rieger, G., Cash, BM., Merrill, SM., Jones-Rounds, J., Dharmavaram, SM. and Savin-Williams, RC., (2015). Sexual arousal: the correspondence of eyes and genitals.. Biological Psychology. 104, 56-64

Stief, MC., Rieger, G. and Savin-Williams, RC., (2014). Bisexuality is associated with elevated sexual sensation seeking, sexual curiosity, and sexual excitability. Personality and Individual Differences. 66, 193-198

Rieger, G., Rosenthal, AM., Cash, BM., Linsenmeier, JAW., Bailey, JM. and Savin-Williams, RC., (2013). Male bisexual arousal: A matter of curiosity?. Biological Psychology. 94 (3), 479-489

Vrangalova, Z., Bukberg, RE. and Rieger, G., (2013). Birds of a feather? Not when it comes to sexual permissiveness. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 31 (1), 93-113

Savin-Williams, RC., Rieger, G. and Rosenthal, AM., (2013). Physiological Evidence for a Mostly Heterosexual Orientation Among Men. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 42 (5), 697-699

Kemp, AH., Rieger, G. and Savin-Williams, RC., (2012). The Eyes Have It: Sex and Sexual Orientation Differences in Pupil Dilation Patterns. PLoS ONE. 7 (8), creators-Rieger=3AGerulf=3A=3A

Rieger, G. and Savin-Williams, RC., (2012). Gender Nonconformity, Sexual Orientation, and Psychological Well-Being. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 41 (3), 611-621

Rieger, G., Blanchard, R., Schwartz, G., Bailey, JM. and Sanders, AR., (2012). Further Data Concerning Blanchard’s (2011) “Fertility in the Mothers of Firstborn Homosexual and Heterosexual Men”. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 41 (3), 529-531

Moskowitz, DA., Seal, DW., Rintamaki, L. and Rieger, G., (2011). HIV in the Leather Community: Rates and Risk-Related Behaviors. AIDS and Behavior. 15 (3), 557-564

Rieger, G., Gygax, L., Linsenmeier, JAW., Siler-Knogl, A., Moskowitz, DA. and Bailey, JM., (2011). Sex Typicality and Attractiveness in Childhood and Adulthood: Assessing their Relationships from Videos. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 40 (1), 143-154

Bailey, JM., Rieger, G. and Rosenthal, AM., (2011). Still in Search of Bisexual Sexual Arousal: Comment on Cerny and Janssen (2011). Archives of Sexual Behavior. 40 (6), 1293-1295

Valentova, J., Rieger, G., Havlicek, J., Linsenmeier, JAW. and Bailey, JM., (2011). Judgments of Sexual Orientation and Masculinity–Femininity Based on Thin Slices of Behavior: A Cross-Cultural Comparison. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 40 (6), 1145-1152

Savin-Williams, RC., Cohen, KM., Joyner, K. and Rieger, G., (2011). Rejecting the Refutation That Never Was: Reply to Meyer’s (2010) Comments on Savin-Williams, Cohen, Joyner, and Rieger (2010). Archives of Sexual Behavior. 40 (4), 659-661

Rieger, G., Linsenmeier, JAW., Gygax, L., Garcia, S. and Bailey, JM., (2010). Dissecting "Gaydar": Accuracy and the Role of Masculinity?Femininity. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (1), 124-140

Sylva, D., Rieger, G., Linsenmeier, JAW. and Bailey, JM., (2010). Concealment of Sexual Orientation. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (1), 141-152

Schwartz, G., Kim, RM., Kolundzija, AB., Rieger, G. and Sanders, AR., (2010). Biodemographic and Physical Correlates of Sexual Orientation in Men. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (1), 93-109

Savin-Williams, RC., Cohen, KM., Joyner, K. and Rieger, G., (2010). Depressive Symptoms Among Same-Sex Oriented Young Men: Importance of Reference Group. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (6), 1213-1215

Moskowitz, DA., Rieger, G. and Roloff, ME., (2010). Heterosexual Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage. Journal of Homosexuality. 57 (2), 325-336

Moskowitz, DA., Rieger, G. and Seal, DW., (2009). Narcissism, self-evaluations, and partner preferences among men who have sex with men. Personality and Individual Differences. 46 (7), 725-728

Rieger, G., Linsenmeier, JAW. and Bailey, JM., (2009). Childhood gender noncomformity remains a robust and neutral correlate of sexual orientation: Reply to Hegarty (2009).. Developmental Psychology. 45 (4), 901-903

Rieger, G., Linsenmeier, JAW., Gygax, L. and Bailey, JM., (2008). Sexual orientation and childhood gender nonconformity: Evidence from home videos.. Developmental Psychology. 44 (1), 46-58

Moskowitz, DA., Rieger, G. and Roloff, ME., (2008). Tops, bottoms and versatiles. Sexual and Relationship Therapy. 23 (3), 191-202

Rieger, G., Chivers, ML. and Bailey, JM., (2005). Sexual arousal patterns of bisexual men. Psychological science. 16 (8), 579-584

Chivers, ML., Rieger, G., Latty, E. and Bailey, JM., (2004). A sex difference in the specificity of sexual arousal. Psychological science. 15 (11), 736-744

Turner, DC., Rieger, G. and Gygax, L., (2003). Spouses and cats and their effects on human mood. Anthrozoös. 16 (3), 213-228

Turner, DC. and Rieger, G., (2001). Singly Living People and Their Cats: A Study of Human Mood and Subsequent Behavior. Anthrozoös. 14 (1), 38-46

Rieger, G. and Turner, DC., (1999). How Depressive Moods Affect the Behavior of Singly Living Persons toward their Cats. Anthrozo�s. 12 (4), 224-233

Conferences (3)

Sanders, A., Beecham, G., Guo, S., Dawood, K., Rieger, G., Krishnappa, R., Kolundzija, A., Bailey, JM. and Martin, E., (2019). S67GENOME-WIDE LINKAGE STUDY OF CHILDHOOD GENDER NONCONFORMITY IN MALES

Savin-Williams, RC., Joyner, K. and Rieger, G., (2012). Prevalence and Stability of Self-Reported Sexual Orientation Identity During Young Adulthood

Rieger, G., Chivers, ML. and Bailey, JM., (2002). Who are bisexual men? Sexual arousal and sexual orientation in men

Grants and funding

2017

The measurement and development of sexual arousal in men and women

American Institute of Bisexuality

2014

The Discordant Development of Sexual Orientation in Identical Twins

American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB)

Contact

gerulf@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 873712

Location:

4.714, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Gerulf Rieger's current teaching responsibilities include Human Sexuality (PS498), Research Methods in Psychology (PS114), Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience (PS929), Special Topics in Individual Differences and Developmental Psychology (PS938), and the supervision of Third Year Projects (PS300).