People

Dr Gerulf Rieger

Senior Lecturer
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

My work focuses on sexual orientation: how it is organized, how it develops, and how it affects a persons life. I use a diversity of methodologies, including self-report, behavioural observations, physiological activity and neurological correlates, and employ an array of quantitative skills in order to pursue my research. I use videos and photos from childhood to examine whether masculine and feminine behaviours during early development predict adult sexual orientation. I also investigate the social impact of these signals. I have used large data sets of family members to investigate potential evolutionary reasons for sexual orientation. In another line of research, I study the association of sexual orientation with physiological sexual arousal in order to illuminate sex differences in sexual response. With a different methodology, pupil dilation, I am currently conducting research that will aid in explaining how early sex and sexual orientation differences in sexual attraction emerge. These studies have broad relevance for understanding how people perceive themselves and others, for the consequences of these perceptions, and for the development of differences between and within the sexes.

Current research

My former student (and now colleague!) Tuesday Watts and I are finishing several studies on the development of sexual orientation. We are 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 student Jamie Raines and I are examining 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. We are currently investigating the right tools to do this. Stay tuned!

My student Luke Holmes and I are 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 examine how both personality and prenatal hormonal influences contribute to theses patterns.

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

My former student Erlend Slettevold (and now Clinical PhD student!) and I study 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 is 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.

Teaching and supervision

  • Research Methods in Psychology (PS114)

  • Introduction to Personal Development and Employability (PS117)

  • Enhancing employability and career planning (PS417)

  • Advanced employability skills and career progression (PS492)

  • Human Sexuality (PS498)

Publications

Journal articles (37)

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, 1-10

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

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

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

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-

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

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

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

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 (07), 1379-1388

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 (2)

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).