van Anders

social neuroendocrinology lab


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Our research is supported by:
the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases),
the American Institute of Bisexuality,
and internal grants from the University of Michigan.
Project-specific support is listed below.

Hormones and Intimacy in Social Context

We study associations between hormones and intimacy in humans. We focus on three types of intimacy: sexuality, pairbonding/partnering, and nurturance. We are especially interested in social modulation of hormones; i.e., how intimate behaviors and contexts alter human endocrinology, and the implications of intimacy-hormone links for health and evolutionary processes. We study immune parameters to tap physiological health parameters, and are mainly focused on testosterone.

Some of the unique features of our lab include our:
*multilevel approach to human intimacy from hormones to social behavior to culture;
*focus on sexual and other diversity at all levels of research;
*incorporation of different types of intimacy;
*interdisciplinary collaborations with, e.g., social workers, medical practitioners, immunologists, theatre directors, nurse/midwives, and psychological scientists from social, clinical, and developmental areas;
*inclusion of women, men, and gender-diverse people;
*focus on feminist and inclusive science practice;
*and interest in understanding intimacy within a comparative and evolutionary framework.

See below for info on past, current, and upcoming projects from one of four topic areas (Sexuality; Partnering/Pair Bonding/Relationships; Nurturance; Gender & Academia/Feminist Science Practice)!


We study bidirectional associations between sexual parameters and hormones and are especially interested in sexual modulation of testosterone. We are trying to figure out what aspects of sexuality are linked to androgens and how these associations are influenced by social context. We are also interested in related non-hormonal questions about sexuality and social context.

We have a large 5-yr project funded by the NIH (NIAID) (1R01AI094563-01) to examine "sexual modulation of HIV-relevant vaginal immunity." co-investigators on this project are Drs. David Aronoff, Dennis Fortenberry, and Steven King.

Some ongoing studies are (generally but not necessarily in order of interest/priority):

Partnering, Pair Bonding, and Relationships

We study bidirectional associations between partnering and steroid hormones, and are especially interested in what social factors mediate differences in testosterone by partnering status, how gender/sex moderates these patterns and the evolutionary implications of these patterns. We try to focus on diverse aspects of partnering, from long distance relationships to casual relationships to polyamory and to monoamory (and beyond!).

We have a project funded by the American Institute of Bisexuality, Inc. to examine "Multigender partnering and polyamory: Dynamic implications for bisexuality and hormones."

Some ongoing studies are:


We study bidirectional associations between nurturanceand steroid hormones, and are especially interested in how interactions with infants influence adult hormones.

Some ongoing studies are:

Feminist Science & Inclusive Research Practices; Socially Situated Neuroendocrinology

We are interested in systemic factors that influence gendered representations in science, and issues around lab practice and mentoring.

Some ongoing studies/topics are:

sari van anders, ph.d.
associate professor,
departments of psychology & women's studies
program in neuroscience
program in reproductive sciences
program in science, technology, and society
biosocial methods collaborative
ph: 1-734-647-6981
fax: 1-734-763-7480
530 church street
ann arbor, michigan, 48109, usa
university of michigan
copyright, Sari M. van Anders, 2008 - 2015.