Debby Herbenick

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Debby Herbenick
EducationUniversity of Maryland, College Park (BA)
Indiana University (PhD)
Occupation(s)Author, research scientist, educator, blogger, sex advice columnist, professor and human sexuality expert in media, Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the School of Public Health-Bloomington at Indiana University[1]

Debby Herbenick (/hɜːrˈbɛnɪk/ her-BEN-ik)[2] is an American author, research scientist,[3] sex educator, sex advice columnist, children's book author,[4] blogger, television personality, professor,[5] and human sexuality expert in the media. Herbenick is a professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health (IUSPH)[6] and lead investigator of the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB), which Time called "the most comprehensive survey of its kind in nearly two decades."[7]

Herbenick is the president-elect of the International Academy of Sex Research and previously served as president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) from 2016 to 2018.[8] She is also an AASECT-certified sexuality educator. She is a recipient of the IU SPH 2021 Outstanding Senior Researcher Award, Indiana University's 2018 Outstanding Faculty Collaborative Research Award,[9] and the 2020 AASECT Professional Standard of Excellence Award.[10] Herbenick was honored in 2018 as a Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality[11] and in 2021 as one of the University of Minnesota's 50 Distinguished Sexual and Gender Revolutionaries.[12] Additionally, she is co-producer on the Emmy-nominated documentary Hot Girls Wanted.[13][14]


Herbenick has published more than 200 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals[15] and is one of the leading experts on the study of sexual behavior in the United States.[16] She has published research related to population-level trends in sexual behavior, vulvar health, genital self-image,[17] women's and men's sexual behavior,[18][19] - exercise-induced orgasm (also known as the coregasm), condoms,[20] lubricants,[21] and sexual enhancement products.[22] Herbenick has spoken on these and other sexuality and relationship topics at a number of colleges, universities, and national and international conferences. She regularly teaches research and human sexuality classes at Indiana University.

Herbenick leads the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, an award-winning[23] U.S. nationally representative probability study of sex in the United States, with multiple waves conducted from 2009 to the present day.[24] She is the Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion in the School of Public Health-Bloomington at Indiana University in Bloomington.


Herbenick has authored or co-authored several books. These include Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction, The I Love You More Book (a book about love for children and grown ups), Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva, Great in Bed, Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered for Better, Smarter, Safer Sex, and The Coregasm Workout .[25] Her most recent book is Yes Your Kid: What Parents Need to Know About Today's Teens and Sex.[26]

Magazines, television, and other media[edit]

Herbenick frequently addresses sexuality research in the media for publications such as The New York Times,[27][28][29] The Atlantic,[30] The Washington Post,[31] among other magazines and newspapers. From 2005 through 2012, Herbenick wrote a weekly sex advice column for Time Out Chicago[32] and, for more than a decade (starting in 2003), wrote sex columns and blogs for Men's Health magazine.[33] Also, Herbenick appeared as an expert in relationships and human sexuality on the Tamron Hall Show, Tiffany Cross' The Cross Connection,[34] The Today Show, Katie Couric's television show Katie, on various PBS specials, on The Tyra Banks Show and on The Doctors, and on one occasion taught about the vulva by using a vulva puppet on Tyra. This clip resulted in millions of views on YouTube and also aired on The Soup and Best Week Ever. Herbenick, her colleague, and their research have also been profiled on an episode of the Discovery Channel's Curiosity. In 2013, Herbenick launched a successful Kickstarter project to create a poster and postcard series called "What do you like about your vagina and vulva?"[35] Additionally, from 2001 to 2018 she wrote the newspaper columns and hosted the audio podcasts of Kinsey Confidential[36] for the Kinsey Institute.

The blog was run by Herbenick from 2007 to 2014 and featured science-based information about sexuality. She is the founder of the Bloomington Sex Salon, an endowed event series in Bloomington, Indiana, and the Make Sex Normal project, which she launched with a highly viewed TEDx talk in 2013.[37]


  1. ^ Kristine Thomason (March 22, 2016). "Yes, You Can Have an Orgasm While Working Out". Health. Retrieved August 31, 2016. orgasms during exercise ... study published in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy back in 2011
  2. ^ "Spotlight on Women's Health". 2 May 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Debby Herbenick - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  4. ^ PhD, Debby Herbenick (2011-10-31). The I Love You More Book. Rosalie Orlando Hatch (1st ed.). Decorah, IA: StoryPeople Press. ISBN 9781937137991.
  5. ^ "Debra Herbenick: Faculty: School of Public Health: Indiana University Bloomington". Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  6. ^ "Applied Health Science: Faculty Directory: School of Public Health: Indiana University Bloomington". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  7. ^ "5 Little-Known Truths About American Sex Lives". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  8. ^ "About | AASECT:: American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists".
  9. ^ Bryant, Lauren (2018-11-02). "Sexuality in America study receives award for collaborative research". News at IU. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  10. ^ "Herbenick, Debra: Faculty Directory: Faculty & Research: School of Public Health: Indiana University Bloomington". School of Public Health. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  11. ^ "Fellows of the Society". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  12. ^ ethan14 (2021-05-19). "50 Distinguished Sexual and Gender Health Revolutionaries". Program in Human Sexuality - University of Minnesota. Retrieved 2021-06-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "Debby Herbenick". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  14. ^ Hot Girls Wanted, retrieved 2018-12-14
  15. ^ "Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, CSE - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  16. ^ "Get That Life: How I Became a Sex Researcher at the Kinsey Institute". 2014-10-20.
  17. ^ Herbenick, Debra; Schick, Vanessa; Reece, Michael; Sanders, Stephanie; Dodge, Brian; Fortenberry, J. Dennis (2010-11-02). "The Female Genital Self-Image Scale (FGSIS): Results from a Nationally Representative Probability Sample of Women in the United States". The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 8 (1): 158–166. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02071.x. PMID 21044269. S2CID 8705049.
  18. ^ Herbenick, Debby; Reece, Michael; Schick, Vanessa; Sanders, Stephanie A.; Dodge, Brian; Fortenberry, J. Dennis (2010-10-04). "Sexual Behavior in the United States: Results from a National Probability Sample of Men and Women Ages 14–94 - Herbenick". The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 7: 255–265. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02012.x. PMID 21029383.
  19. ^ Herbenick, Debby; Fortenberry, J. Dennis (2011). "Exercise-induced orgasm and pleasure among women". Sexual and Relationship Therapy. 26 (4): 373–388. doi:10.1080/14681994.2011.647902. S2CID 145405546.
  20. ^ Reece, M.; Herbenick, D.; Sanders, S. A.; Monahan, P.; Temkit, M.; Yarber, W. L. (2008). "Breakage, slippage and acceptability outcomes of a condom fitted to penile dimensions". Sexually Transmitted Infections. 84 (2): 143–149. doi:10.1136/sti.2007.028316. PMID 17971373. S2CID 23902665. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  21. ^ Herbenick, Debra; Reece, Michael; Hensel, Devon; Sanders, Stephanie; Jozkowski, Kristen; Fortenberry, J. Dennis (2011). "Association of Lubricant Use with Women's Sexual Pleasure, Sexual Satisfaction, and Genital Symptoms: A Prospective Daily Diary Study - Herbenick". The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 8 (1): 202–212. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02067.x. PMID 21143591.
  22. ^ "Debby Herbenick - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  23. ^ "Sexuality in America focus for team receiving 2018 Outstanding Faculty Collaborative Research Award: News: News & Events: Center for Sexual Health Promotion: Indiana University Bloomington". Center for Sexual Health Promotion. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  24. ^ "National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior". National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  25. ^ Herbenick, Debby (2015-06-09). The Coregasm Workout: The Revolutionary Method for Better Sex Through Exercise. Basic Books. ISBN 978-1580055642.
  26. ^ Herbenick, Debby (2023). Yes Your Kid: What Parents Need to Know About Today's Teens and Sex. Ben Bella Books. ISBN 978-1637743805.
  27. ^ Klass, Perri; M.D (2018-12-10). "Why Is Children's Masturbation Such a Secret?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  28. ^ Damour, Lisa (2018-11-14). "Why Teenagers Mix Drinking and Sex". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  29. ^ Jones, Maggie (2018-02-07). "What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn". The New York Times Magazine. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  30. ^ Julian, Kate (December 2018). "Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?". The Atlantic. ISSN 1072-7825. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  31. ^ "Perspective | Americans are having less sex. And that's just fine". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  32. ^ "Time Out Chicago Contact Page". 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
  33. ^ "Questions for Sex Professor: Men's Health". 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
  34. ^ "The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross" 10-07-2021 (TV Episode 2021) - IMDb, retrieved 2021-11-10
  35. ^ "Beyond The Chocha: Tyra Banks Helpfully Reminds Us That Vaginas Are Like Snowflakes, Look Like Cuddly Sofa Cushions". 2010. Archived from the original on 2009-06-14. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
  36. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2019-07-21.
  37. ^ TEDx Talks (2013-05-05), Making sex normal | Debby Herbenick | TEDxBloomington, retrieved 2018-03-09

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