Assistant Professor of Psychology
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
Area: Personality & Social Contexts, Joint Program in Women Studies and Psychology
Psychology Office: 3268 East Hall
Psychology Phone: 734-615-3985
Research and Teaching Interests
My overarching research interests lie in stigma and sexuality. I examine reactions to and experiences of sexually stigmatized people, the effects of stigmatization on sexual experiences for women, and potential advantages of culturally stigmatized relationships. My three main areas of interest are described below.
Limitations of Monogamous Romantic Relationships
Much of my past and current research has examined the potentially negative ramifications of monogamous relationships by a) demonstrating the deleterious effects of ostensibly monogamous relationships on sexual health behaviors and b) investigating the advantages of relationships other than monogamous romantic relationships (e.g., negotiated non-monogamous relationships). Current research examines whether couples in negotiated non-monogamous relationships are more likely to engage in safer sex practices in their extra-dyadic encounters than are ostensibly monogamous couples. Likewise, I am conducting a comparative study of the quality of relationships among monogamous and negotiated non-monogamous couples.
Gender Differences in Sexuality: Stigma and Pleasure
Gender differences in sexual experiences and attitudes are among the largest gender differences demonstrated empirically. My goal is to understand the sociocultural reasons for these differences and to determine situations in which these prominent differences are absent. Currently, I am examining the large differences between women and men in preferences for casual sex. Two main explanations for these differences are a) pleasure or anticipated pleasure in casual sexual experiences (expectations of pleasure seem to be higher for men than for women) and b) stigma against women engaging in sexual activity.
Interperceptions of Heterosexual and LGBQ people
Relationships between gay and straight people have mostly been explored from the perspective of the dominant heterosexual group. I am interested in this dynamic from both perspectives, having studied heterosexual reactions to LGBQ people, as well LGBQ people’s ability to identify prejudicial individuals, LGBQ people’s reactions to interactions with heterosexuals, and perceptions of mistakes made by well-meaning heterosexuals. I have also considered the perspectives of other marginalized groups, especially non-White individuals’ perception of Whites. My current interests lie in LGBQ stereotypes about heterosexuals.
Conley, T.D. (2011). Perceived proposer personality characteristics and gender differences in acceptance of casual sex offers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 309-329.
Conley, T.D., Rabinowitz, J.L. & Rabow, J. (2010). Gordon Gekkos, frat boys and nice guys: The content, dimensions, and structural determinants of multiple ethnic minority groups’ stereotypes about White men. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 10, 69-96.
Conley, T.D., Rabinowitz, J.L. & Hardin, C.D. (2010). O.J. Simpson as shared (and unshared) reality: The impact of consensually-shared beliefs of interpersonal perceptions and task performance in different-and same-ethnicity dyads. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 452-466.
Conley, T. D. & Peplau, L. A. (2010). Gender and perceptions of romantic partners’ sexual risk, Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7, 794-802.