Kathryn R. Klement, Ph.D.

Research in psychology and women's studies


Sexuality, Feminism, & Women Lab

Mission Statement

The SFW Lab is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive space where lab members can develop skills and knowledge that can translate to a variety of post-graduate contexts, including graduate school and future occupations.  The primary mission of the SFW Lab is to explore and investigate questions related to: (1) conditions that facilitate negative attitudes toward women and women’s sexuality; (2) how those attitudes are related; and, (3) the behavioral consequences of those attitudes.

We are also deeply committed to the ethical treatment of research participants.  To that end, we utilize (1) informed consent, so that all participants are aware of when they are part of a study and what the risks and benefits of participating are; (2) the right to withdraw, so that all participants know that they may retract their informed consent at any time during the study; and (3) debriefing, so that all participants are given information about what we are investigating after their participation is completed, and they are aware of all hypotheses and any research-related deception that may have occurred.

Image via Pixabay.

Image via Pixabay.

Goals of the Lab

The primary purpose of the SFW Lab is to produce and disseminate quality research on issues of interest to lab members, which should broadly fall within the scope of the Lab’s larger mission.  However, all members of the SFW Lab are encouraged to extend their awareness of: (1) ethical treatment of research participants and ethical dissemination of research results; (2) issues faced by members of marginalized groups, particularly groups related to gender and sexual identity; and (3) how quantitative and qualitative research paradigms can be combined to yield richer results.

We begin with the assumption that individuals’ social group identities (e.g., gender, race, ability) shape their perspectives on the world and their experiences.  Individuals may have social privilege or not from each of these identities.  That is, a white gay man would have social privilege from his racial and gender identities, but not his sexual identity.  Further, each identity intersects with the others in a way that creates unique advantages and disadvantages.

We also acknowledge the history of white supremacy and androcentrism that provided foundations for the field of psychology.  Thus, we interrogate past research findings  using feminist empiricism and aim to focus on and amplify marginalized voices among fellow researchers as well as research participants.  We recognize that our research may produce mixed results – some problematic past findings may be confirmed, and we may not receive clear answers to our questions.  However, we are committed to designing and conducting our studies, analyzing and interpreting our data, and disseminating our results in as objective a manner as possible.

Image via Unsplash.

Image via Unsplash.

Qualities and Characteristics of Team Members

 The SFW Lab is open to individuals of all genders, races/ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious affiliations, socioeconomic status, level of mental and physical ability, and level of education. Each member should strive to be a reliable and trustworthy member of the lab, protecting the confidentiality of our research participants and the integrity of our science.

Image via Unsplash.

Image via Unsplash.


We have two major projects under current investigation:

(1) What messages does Law and Order: Special Victims Unit send about rape and rape victims?

(2) How does sexual entitlement relate to dating attitudes and behaviors?