This month we’ve looked at gender and its intersecting concepts from a qualitative, historic and artistic perspective, but we can’t finish the month off without taking a look at the quantitative side. Dr. Paul Vasey from the University of Lethbridge is gathering data on sexual orientation from around the globe.

Hello Paul, thanks for joining us this week! This last month we’ve been looking at gender concepts from artistic and sociological & artistic perspectives, but you are doing quantitative research on these topics. Can you tell us what you’re working on right now?
I'm publishing cross-cultural data on sex, gender and male sexual orientation from Canada, Samoa, and the Istmo region of Oaxaca, Mexico. I'm also publishing data on sexual behaviour in Japanese macaques, with a focus on female sexuality.

What excites you about this research?
Sexual orientation is central organizing property of human life that has a far-reaching impact on individuals. My cross-cultural research in Canada, Samoa and the Istmo region of Oaxaca, Mexico, attempts to parse the objective aspects of sexual orientation from those that are socially constructed. My cross-species research on Japanese macaques attempts to parse what aspect of sexual orientation are uniquely human from those that are part of our shared primate ancestry.

Pictured is Trisha (left), his Samoan research assistant, and Paul (right) at the end of a successful field season.

What attracted you to do research at uLethbridge? It sounds as though your research could take you anywhere!
The uLethbridge administration has always been supportive of my work, which has allowed me to be very productive in terms of my research contributions. I've also benefited from excellent mentors such as Bryan Kolb, Ian Whishaw and Sergio Pellis.

Is there anywhere you would like to take this research to in the future, or someone you would like to collaborate with?
My ideal research partners would be individuals who are equally committed to undertaking objective scientific research on the psychobiology of sexual orientation, especially those working from a cross-cultural or cross-species perspective.

On that note, there is a Brazilian anthropologist, Luiz Mott, who has done some interesting historical research on a subculture of same-sex attracted males living in Lisbon during the Inquisition.  Most of his work is in Portuguese (which I don't read), so it would be interesting to talk with him about his research to get more details.

Last one: tell us one fun fact about you!
One of my favourite albums is: Miss America by Mary Margaret O'Hara. One of my favourite books is: Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black by Cookie Mueller. One of my favourite movies is: All that Heaven Allows directed by Douglas Sirk.

Intrigued? You can get into the nitty-gritty of Dr. Vasey's research by perusing his research gate profile, or send him a tweet to connect!