Shari Blumenstock

Graduate student Shari Blumenstock

Title/Department: Doctoral Student, Human Development and Family Studies




Shari Blumenstock is a doctoral candidate in the Human Development and Family Studies department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Originally studying to become a mechanical engineer, she later switched to the field of Psychology to combine her passion for rigorous science with her fascination of romantic and sexual relationships, completing her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2009. She has been involved in numerous research labs since, and has presented work from several relationship studies at domestic and international conferences, including SSSS.

Shari’s current research focuses on sexuality within romantic relationships, with an emphasis on sexual desire, pleasure, and partner influences. She is deeply committed to science as an ever-evolving method of producing and understanding knowledge, and thus as a system that continually requires careful scrutiny and critical self-examination. Shari is also passionate about using science to help others improve their romantic and sexual relationships. One of her life goals is to help others become more empowered and intentional in their relationships, particularly when it comes to sex. She has given informal talks in her community, including a Nerd Nite presentation (Female Sexual Desire: A Pleasure Perspective), and has designed and implemented a one-week learning curriculum for Teaching Sexual Agency in the College Classroom (finding: it can be done!). Shari wants to become a lifelong relationship and sexuality scientist, contributing to knowledge, as well as methodological advancements, in the field.

Awards and Honors:

Awarded 2017 Rising Scholar in the field of sexuality from the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality

Shari was the recipient of the HDFS Summer Research Fellowship Award, Summer 2014, and has received numerous travel awards through the School of Human Ecology and the Human Development and Family Studies department to present her research around the world.


Blumenstock, S (2014, November). Examination of sexual satisfaction as a moderator of couples’ marital quality trajectories during the early years of marriage. Paper presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality annual conference, Omaha, NE.

Blumenstock, S., Lee, E., Roberts, L. J., Orbuch, T., & Papp, L. M. (2014, July). Sexual satisfaction and subjective well-being among husbands and wives: Concurrent and longitudinal links in the early years of marriage. Paper presented at the 2014 International Association for Relationship Research Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Blumenstock, S., & Papp, L. M. (2013, October). Daily associations between relationship functioning and partners’ well-being: The role of financial strain. Poster presented at the 6th Conference on Emerging Adulthood, Chicago, IL.


Blumenstock, S. (2014, August). Talking to your teen about sex. Parenthetical, Online Newsletter.

Papp, L. M. & Blumenstock, S. (2014, April). UW Madison Couples Lab: Love and Life. Poster presented at the 2014 UW Science Expedition.

Kupisk, D., Drazen, Y., & Blumenstock, S. (2014, January) Perspectives on Poverty, presented to the Children’s Trust Fund, Madison, WI.