Gurit E. Birnbaum, Ph.D.

Gurit Birnbaum, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology, the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya (Israel). Her research is guided by complementary questions: How does the functional significance of sex change as relationships progress from initial encounters to long-term commitments and what are the processes whereby the sexual behavioral system contributes to relationship development, maintenance, and deterioration? And whether, for whom, and how might nonsexual aspects of a relationship (e.g., attachment, perceived partner responsiveness) contribute to, or compensate for, sexual deficiencies or dissatisfaction? To address these questions, her research program adopts a person × context × time interactive framework and employs longitudinal, observational, and experimental designs. 

Birnbaum did her post-doctoral work at the University of Rochester. She was a lecturer in the psychology department of Bar-Ilan University and the head of its Experimental Psychology Program, as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota and at Northwestern University. She frequently contributes to international academic journals, and her research has been cited in media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine. She was an associate editor of Personal Relationships and serves as a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 

You may watch Prof. Gurit Birnbaum's TEDx talk on why humans make sex so complicated here.

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Intimately Connected

What sex can teach us about ourselves and about our relationships. Read now.