Academic Research

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

My main lines of research focus on:

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

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

  Peer-Reviewed Publications


Dickman, K.*, Wetzel, G. M., & Sanchez, D. T. (in press). The role of partner gender: How expectations for clitoral stimulation and orgasm shape orgasm goal pursuit for heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual women. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

 

Wetzel, G. M., Cultice, R. A., Cipollina, R., & Sanchez, D. T. (in press). Masculinity and condom use: Using a rejection sensitivity framework to understand women’s condom negotiation in mixed-sex sexual encounters. Sex Roles.

 

Wetzel, G. M., Sanchez, D. T., Gesselman, A. N., Adams, O. R., Campbell, J. T., & Garcia, J. R. (2024). Exploring the orgasm gap across racial/ethnic groups: A descriptive analysis. The Journal of Sex Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2024.2308044. Click here to read.


Wetzel, G. M. & Sanchez, D. T. (2023). “What’s something you’ve heard about sex, but are unsure if it’s true?”: Assessing middle and high school students’ sex education questions. Journal of Adolescent Health, 74(2), 327-339. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2023.08.028. Click here to read.

Wetzel, G. M., Sanchez, D. T., & Cole, S. (2023). Feasibility cues during a sexual encounter impact the strength of heterosexual women’s orgasm goal pursuit. The Journal of Sex Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2023.2168599. Click here to read.

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.


*Denotes undergraduate mentee

Manuscripts Under Review & In Preparation

 Wetzel, G. M. & Sanchez, D. T. Endorsement of biological explanations for the orgasm gap: Implications for immutability beliefs and gender essentialism. 


Wetzel, G. M., Svensson, H., Sanchez, D. T., & Cole, S. Devaluing orgasm: Investigating couples’ decisions to reduce the importance of women’s orgasm when frequency is low.

 

Wetzel, G. M., Wolfer, C., Carmichael, C., & Sanchez, D. T. Sexual scripts shape women’s orgasm expectations during sex with men versus women: The role of clitoral stimulation and perceived partner’s orgasm pursuit.

 

Conley, T. D., Wetzel, G. M., Cultice, R. A. & Piemonte, J. L. Bisexuality provides a natural experiment to ascertain whether sexuality gender differences are attributable to the person vs. partner. 

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., & Sanchez, D. T. (anticipated 2024, March). Assessing middle and high school students’ sex education questions. Single paper presentation presented for the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (EPA), Philadelphia, PA.

 

Wetzel, G. M., Dickman, K.*, & Sanchez, D. T. (2024, February). The role of partner gender: How sexual expectations shape orgasm pursuit for heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual women. Single presenter talk presented at the Sexuality Pre-Conference for the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), San Diego, CA. 


Becker, H.*, Wetzel, G. M., & Sanchez, D. T. (2024, February). Women’s sex education experiences and their implications for sexual outcomes in young adulthood. Undergraduate research spotlight presented virtually at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), San Diego, CA.

Wetzel, G. M., Sanchez, D. T., & Cole, S. (2023, February). Is orgasm worth pursuing? The role of feasibility cues in shaping heterosexual women’s motivation to pursue orgasm. Data blitz presented at the Sexuality Pre-Conference for the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Atlanta, GA.

 

Dickman, K.*, Wetzel, G. M., & Sanchez, D. T. (2023, February). Using expectancy-value theory to predict the strength of orgasm goal pursuit for heterosexual and lesbian women. Undergraduate research spotlight presented virtually at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Atlanta, GA.

 

Pauwels, H.*, Wetzel, G. M., & Sanchez, D. T. (2023, February). Women’s orgasms as a masculinity achievement for men: The role of vaginal penetration versus clitoral stimulation. Undergraduate research spotlight presented virtually at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Atlanta, GA.


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). 


*Denotes undergraduate mentee

Poster Presentations

Wetzel, G. M. & Sanchez, D. T. (2024, February). “What’s something you’ve heard about sex, but are unsure if it’s true?”: Assessing middle and high school students’ sex education questions. Poster presented in-person at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), San Diego, CA.


Wetzel, G. M., Sanchez, D. T., & Cole, S. (2023, February). Goal pursuit and women’s orgasm: The role of feasibility cues in shaping women’s motivation to pursue orgasm. Poster presented in-person at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Atlanta, GA.

 

Wetzel, G. M., Sanchez, D. T., & Cole, S. (2022, November). Feasibility cues during a sexual encounter impact the strength of women’s orgasm goal pursuit. Poster presented virtually at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).

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.