Academic Research

I research how our gendered experiences shape our sexual lives, particularly in regards to pleasure & orgasm.

My two main lines of research focus on:

  • how biological essentialist beliefs are used to justify & perpetuate the orgasm gap

  • women's pursuit of orgasm as a goal

I am a member of the Close Relationships, Identity, & Stigma (CRIS) Lab at Rutgers University, led by Dr. Diana Sanchez. Click here to visit the CRIS Lab Website.

My research is supported by the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP).

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Wetzel, G. M. & Sanchez, D. T. (2022). Heterosexual young adults’ experience with and perceptions of the orgasm gap: A mixed methods approach. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 46(2), 131-146. https://doi.org/10.1177/03616843221076410. Click here to read.

Wetzel, G. M., Cultice, R. A., & Sanchez, D. T. (2022). Orgasm frequency predicts desire and expectation for orgasm: Assessing the orgasm gap within mixed-sex couples. Sex Roles, 86, 456-470. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-022-01280-7. Click here to read.

Manuscripts Under Review & In Preparation

Wetzel, G. M., Sanchez, D. T., & Cole, S. (invited revision). Feasibility cues during a sexual encounter impact the strength of heterosexual women’s orgasm goal pursuit.


Wetzel, G. M., & Sanchez, D. T. Can the orgasm gap be fixed? The relationship between gender essentialism, biological justification for the orgasm gap, and immutability beliefs. Manuscript in preparation.


Wetzel, G. M. & Sanchez, D. T. What are young people asking about sex? Assessing sex education needs in middle and high school students. Manuscript in preparation.


Wetzel, G. M. & Sanchez, D. T. Challenging biological justifications for the orgasm gap: Implications for immutability beliefs and gender essentialism. Manuscript in preparation.

Research Grants

Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation (NSF), 2022


Clara Mayo Grant, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), 2022

Oral Conference Presentations

Wetzel, G. M., Cultice, R. A., & Sanchez, D. T. (2021, November). Women’s orgasm frequency predicts women’s desire and expectation for orgasm: Assessing the “orgasm gap” within dyadic mixed-sex couples. Oral presentation given at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).

Wetzel, G. M., Cultice, R. A., & Sanchez, D. T. (2021, February). Stress, loneliness, and COVID threat severity as predictors of sexual well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data blitz presented virtually at the Sexuality Pre-Conference for the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP).

Poster Presentations

Wetzel, G. M. & Sanchez, D. T. (2022, February). Can the orgasm gap be fixed? The relationship between sexism, sexuality lay beliefs, and attitudes towards the orgasm gap.Poster accepted for the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP).

Wetzel, G. M. & Sanchez, D. T. (2021, August). College students’ experience with and perceptions of the “orgasm gap” in new and familiar contexts. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Wetzel, G. M. (2019, March). I’d like to thank the academy – for racial bias?: Racial bias in the judgment of rap music. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA).

Wetzel, G. M. (2018, September). I’d like to thank the academy – for racial bias?: Racial bias in the judgment of music. Poster presented at the meeting of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium (NY6).


Presenting research at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) annual conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.