Eileen Zurbriggen
  • Title
    • Distinguished Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Psychology Department
  • Affiliations Feminist Studies Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Social Sciences 2, Room 361
    • Hybrid: in person in 361 SS2
    • zoom: https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/91406996418?pwd=Tk5ySVlkQXpYNnd5M1MrWlZrOXkxZz09
    • Meeting ID: 914 0699 6418 Passcode: 426363
  • Office Hours (Spring 2024) Wednesdays 3:30 - 4:30 pm in person Soc Sci 2 room 361 https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/91406996418?pwd=Tk5ySVlkQXpYNnd5M1MrWlZrOXkxZz09 Meeting ID: 914 0699 6418 Passcode: 426363
  • Mail Stop Psychology Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High St.
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Social Psychology, Women's Studies, Violence and Violence Prevention, Social Justice, Sexuality, Feminist Studies, Sexism and Gender Bias, Gender Studies, Mass Media, Popular Culture
  • Courses Psych 159D: Psychology of Sexual Aggression, Psych 140T: Psychology of Trauma, Psych 210: The Experimental Method in Social Psychology, Psych 211A: Proseminar: Social Justice and the Individual, Psych 214A: Multivariate Techniques for Psychology, Psych 214B: Advanced Multivariate Techniques for Psychology, Psych 141: Privacy and Surveillance
  • Advisees, Grad Students, Researchers Michael E Vallerga, Anna Baker-Olson, Dennis Alexio Estrada

Summary of Expertise

Connections between power and sex, sexual aggression and abuse, trauma. Sexual decision-making, sexuality and media, the sexualization and objectification of girls and women. Authoritarianism, feminist political psychology. Motivation, especially power and affiliation-intimacy motives.

Research Interests

Eileen Zurbriggen is a feminist social/personality psychologist investigating the intersections between power, sexuality, and gender. Her research draws from multiple disciplinary and theoretical perspectives both within psychology (including social, developmental, and political psychology) and outside of it (including feminist theory, queer theory, philosophy, and communications studies).

Professor Zurbriggen's program of research has included a variety of projects, braiding together three underlying themes. First, much of her research has focused on understanding the causes and consequences of behaviors that connect power and sexuality, from the most traumatic (e.g., sexualized torture, rape, childhood sexual abuse) to those with less obvious negative consequences (e.g., the sexual objectification of women,  chivalrous actions by men). Second, her research targets the intrapsychic and interpersonal aspects of connections between power, gender, and sexuality. For example, how does objectification of one's romantic partner affect that interpersonal relationship? Finally, she aims to connect to larger social structures and issues (e.g., the media, U.S. presidential elections and foreign policy, the relationship between rape and war).

Biography, Education and Training

M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan
B.S., M.S., Michigan State University

Selected Publications

  • Ben Hagai, E., & Zurbriggen, E. L. (2022). Queer theory and psychology: Gender, sexuality, and transgender identities. Springer/Nature.
  • Vallerga, M., & Zurbriggen, E. L. (2022). Hegemonic masculinities in the 'manosphere': A thematic analysis of beliefs about men and women on The Red Pill and Incel. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 22(1), 602-625.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L., & Vallerga, M. (2022). Democratic candidates in the 2020 U. S. presidential primary: The portrayal of race, gender, and age in editorial cartoons.  Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 22(1), 6-29.
  • Harsey, S. J., & Zurbriggen, E. L. (2021).  Men’s and women’s self-objectification, objectification of women, and sexist beliefs. Self and Identity, 20(7), 861-868.
  • Daniels, E. A., Zurbriggen, E. L., & Ward, L. M.  (2020).  Becoming an object: A review of self-objectification in girls.  Body Image, 33, 278-299.
  • Starr, C. R., & Zurbriggen, E. L.  (2019).  Self-sexualization in preadolescent girls: Associations with self-objectification, weight concerns, and parent’s academic expectations.  International Journal of Behavioral Development, 43(6), 515-522.
  • Balzer Carr, B., Ben Hagai, E., & Zurbriggen, E. L.  (2017).  Queering Bem: Theoretical intersections between Sandra Bem’s scholarship and queer theory. Sex Roles, 76, 655-668.
  • Starr, C. R., & Zurbriggen, E. L.  (2017).  Sandra Bem’s gender schema theory after 34 years: A review of its reach and impact. Sex Roles, 76, 566-578.
  • Daniels, E. A., & Zurbriggen, E. L.  (2016).  “It’s not the right way to do stuff on Facebook:” Sexiness doesn’t belong on social media. Sexuality and Culture, 20, 936-964.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L., Ben Hagai, E., & Leon, G.  (2016).  Negotiating privacy and intimacy on social media: Review and recommendations. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 2, 248-260.
  • Sherman, A. M., & Zurbriggen, E. L. (2014).  "Boys can be anything": Effect of Barbie play on girls' career cognitions. Sex Roles, 70, 195-208.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L. (2013). Objectification, self-objectification, and societal change. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 1, 188-215
  • Zurbriggen, E. L. (2010). Rape, war, and the socialization of masculinity: Why our refusal to give up war ensures that rape cannot be eradicated. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 35, 538-549.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L. (2008). Sexualized torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib prison: Feminist psychological analyses. Feminism and Psychology, 18, 301-320.