Faculty Directory

Eileen Zurbriggen
  • Title
    • Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Psychology Department
  • Affiliations Feminist Studies Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Social Sciences 2, Room 361
  • Office Hours (Winter 2022) Mon, 7:00-9:00pm; https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/91273721088?pwd=Z3dld0RneW1QT1dTQVdkNlV1bnc2Zz09; Meeting ID: 912 7372 1088 Passcode: 634693
  • 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 140T: Psychology of Trauma, Psych 159D: Psychology of Sexual Aggression, 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

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 together methods and theories from a variety of sources, including social and personality psychology, feminist studies, political psychology, communications and media studies, and applied statistics.

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, the use of children as nude models in art photography). 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, recent papers aim 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).

Current projects include a third follow-up (two years post-college) to a longitudinal study of college students' attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to power and sexuality, as well as messages they receive from parents, peers, and the media; and ongoing studies on the sexualization and objectification of girls and women.

Biography, Education and Training

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

Selected Publications

  • Daniels, E. A., & Zurbriggen, E. L. (2016). The price of sexy: Viewers' perceptions of a sexualized versus a non-sexualized Facebook profile photograph. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5, 2-14.
  • Balzer Carr, B., Ben Hagai, E., & Zurbriggen, E. L. (2015, October 12). Queering Bem: Theoretical intersections between Sandra Bem's scholarship and queer theory.  Advance online publication in Sex Roles.
  • 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. (2011). Vicarious trauma in the undergraduate classroom: Lessons from theory and clinical practice. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 3, 223-228.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L., Ramsey, L., & Jaworski, B. K. (2011). The role of objectification in relationship satisfaction: Self, partner, and media consumption. Sex Roles, 64, 449-462.
  • Peterson, B. E., & Zurbriggen, E. L. (2010). Gender, sexuality, and the authoritarian personality. Journal of Personality, 78, 1801-1826.
  • 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., & Sherman, A. M. (2010). Race and gender in the 2008 U. S. presidential election: A content analysis of political cartoons. Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy, 10, 223-247.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L., Gobin, R., & Freyd, J. J. (2010). Childhood emotional abuse predicts late adolescent sexual aggression perpetration and victimization. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 19, 204-223.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L. (2008). Sexualized torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib prison: Feminist psychological analyses. Feminism and Psychology, 18, 301-320.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L., & Morgan, E. M. (2006). Who wants to marry a millionaire? Reality dating television programs, attitudes toward sex, and sexual behaviors. Sex Roles, 54, 1-17.
  • Zurbriggen, E. L. (2000). Social motives and cognitive power/sex associations: Predictors of aggressive sexual behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 559-581.