About

Gilbert HerdtDr. Gilbert Herdt is a cultural and clinical anthropologist, Professor and Founder of the Department of Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University, and Director Emeritus of the National Sexuality Resource Center (NSRC). Dr. Herdt is also Founder and Professor in the Graduate Program in Human Sexuality at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS).

M.A. Cultural Anthropology, University of Washington, and PhD, the Australian National University. Postdoctoral Certificate, UCLA.
Fulbright Scholarship to Australia, 1974-1978; NIH Individual Post-doctoral Fellowship, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA, 1978-1980; NEH, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Spencer Foundation, NIMH, Rockefeller Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, Ford Foundation, scholarships.

Dr. Herdt has conducted major fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Chicago, and the Bay Area of California on issues of sexuality, sexual orientation development, sexual health and policy. Dr. Herdt is an international expert on sexuality and gender, child and adolescent sexual identity development, sexual orientation, LGBT aging, sexual literacy and sexual rights in the context of the modern period.

Gilbert Herdt is the Core Founder of the Summer Institute on Sexuality and Society, University of Amsterdam, Founder of the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS), and the founder of the Summer Institute on Sexuality, Society and Health at San Francisco State University.

His full CV can be found here.

A shorter bio can be found here.

Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Annual Lecture, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, 2006
  • Stice Distinguished Annual Lecture in the Social Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, 2001
  • Robert J. Stoller Memorial Lecture, University of California-Los Angeles, 2000
  • Guggenheim Fellow, 1997
  • Annual Award for Research, National Association for Men’s Studies, 1992
  • Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures, University of Rochester, 1991
  • Ruth Benedict Prize, The Sambia: Ritual and Gender in New Guinea, 1988
  • National Book Award Nominee, Guardians of the Flutes, 1981

Organizational Roles

  • Founder, Department of Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University
  • Founder, NSRC Summer Institutes on Sexuality, Society and Health, San Francisco State University
  • Founder, Summer Institute in Sexuality, Gender, and Culture, University of Amsterdam.
  • Founding Editor, Sexuality Research and Social Policy
  • Founder, International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Society, and Culture
  • Founder, Center on Culture and Human Health, University of Chicago
  • Co-founder, Evelyn Hooker Center for Gay and Lesbian Mental Health

Research and Fieldwork

  • Dr. Herdt has studied the Sambia of Papua New Guinea over a period of 35 years and 13 field trips. In 2010 he conducted field work on the changing conditions of sexuality, gender, HIV, and modernity among the Sambia.
  • Dr. Herdt was the principle investigator in a case study on Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) in California high schools in 2000-2002.
  • Dr Herdt conducted a ten-month long needs-assessment study of older lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in Chicago for Horizons Community Services, 1996.
  • Dr. Herdt’s path-breaking community-based study in Chicago examined self-identified gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents and their families from 1987-1989.

Major Books and Publications

  • Moral Panics, Sex Panics: Fear and the Fight Over Sexual Rights. NYU, 2009
  • 21st Century Sexualities: Anthology of the Best of American Sexuality Magazine. Routledge, 2009
  • The Sambia: Ritual, Sexuality and Gender. Wadsworth/Thompson, 2006
  • Something to Tell You: The Road Families Travel When a Child is Gay. Columbia, 2000
  • Same Sex, Different Cultures: Perspectives on Gay and Lesbian Lives. Westview, 1997.
  • Children of Horizons: How Gay and Lesbian Teenagers are Forging a New Way Out of the Closet. Beacon, 1993.
  • Guardians of the Flutes: Idioms of Masculinity. McGraw-Hill, 1981.

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