Lisa M. Diamond

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Lisa M. Diamond
Alma mater
OccupationUniversity professor
EmployerUniversity of Utah
Known forSexual fluidity

Lisa M. Diamond is an American psychologist and feminist. She is a professor of developmental psychology and health psychology at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on sexual orientation development, sexual identity, and bonding.[1]

She is best known for her 2008 book, Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire.[2] In this book, she discusses the fluidity of female sexuality, based on her study of 100 non-heterosexual women over a period of 10 years. She concluded that the term bisexual did not truly express the versatile nature of many of her subjects. Therefore, she calls "for an expanded understanding of same-sex sexuality".

Early life[edit]

Diamond became interested in feminism after Betty Friedan gave a talk at her high school.[2] She studied feminist theory at the University of Chicago and joined the board of the Chicago National Organization for Women.[2][3] During this time, she came out as a lesbian and decided to pursue research into same-sex sexuality instead of activism.[2]

In 1993, she received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Chicago.[2] She then started graduate work with Ritch Savin-Williams at Cornell University,[4] where she earned her M.A. in 1996, and her Ph.D. in 1999, both in Human Development.[2]


At the University of Utah, Diamond was an assistant professor from 1999 to 2005, and an associate professor from 2005 to 2012. She became a professor of psychology and gender studies in 2012.[1] She serves on the editorial boards of Developmental Psychology, Archives of Sexual Behavior, and various other journals.[1] Her research focuses on same-sex sexuality, adolescent females, and human bonding.[1][2]

In her studies of sexual fluidity, she has found that many women report variability in their sexual orientation identity. Diamond is clear that sexual orientation is not chosen, but that identity can shift non-voluntarily for some women.[2][5] The sexually fluid women she studied did not "experience those changes as willful", and some even resist them.[5] Diamond says that conversion therapy cannot remove same-sex attraction.[5]

Describing herself as a feminist scientist, Diamond says "there are a lot of scientists who just cling to the scientific method and believe they are totally objective and I think they are full of bunk. But, I have met a lot of feminists who say there is not a way to collect data without being oppressive, that data has no meaning, the world is socially constructed and I think that is bunk too."[2] Diamond has also researched attachment theory as the basis for love and sexual orientation, and the association between relationships and psychobiological health.[2]

Diamond was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the APA Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns in 2011; the Distinguished Book Award by the International Association of Relationship Research (IARR) in 2010; and the Distinguished Book Award for her book Sexual Fluidity by the American Psychological Association, Division 44 in 2009. She received a number of other honors during her scientific career.[1]


Among other works, she authored:

  • Diamond, L. M. (2012). The desire disorder in research on sexual orientation in women: Contributions of dynamical systems theory. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 73–83.
  • Diamond, L. M., Hicks, A. M., & Otter-Henderson, K. D. (2011). Individual differences in vagal regulation moderate associations between daily affect and daily couple interactions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 731–744.
  • Diamond, L. M. & Wallen, K. (2011). Sexual-minority women’s sexual motivation around the time of ovulation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 237–246.
  • Diamond, L.M., Fagundes, C. P., & Cribbet, M. R. (2012). Individual differences in adolescent sympathetic and parasympathetic functioning moderate associations between family environment and psychosocial adjustment. Developmental Psychology.
  • Diamond, L. M. (2008). Female bisexuality from adolescence to adulthood: Results from a 10-year longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 44, 5–14.
  • Diamond, L. M., & Dickenson, J. (2012). The neuroimaging of love and desire: Review and future directions. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 9, 39–46.
  • Diamond, L. M., Hicks, A. M., and Otter-Henderson, K. D. (2008). Every time you go away: Changes in affect, behavior, and physiology associated with travel-related separations from romantic partners. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 385–403.


  1. ^ a b c d e Diamond, L. M. "Curriculum Vita" (PDF). Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Radtke, Sarah (2012). "Profile: Lisa Diamond". Psychology's Feminist Voices. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  3. ^ Diamond, Lisa M.; Granek, Leeat (6 August 2011). "Interview with Lisa M. Diamond" (PDF). Psychology's Feminist Voices Oral History Project. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  4. ^ Vaughn-Blount, Kelli (2008). "Champions of Psychology: Lisa Diamond". Observer. 21 (2).
  5. ^ a b c "Dr. Lisa Diamond". LGBT Science. Truth Wins Out. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2015.

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