Dr. Debby Herbenick is a Provost Professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health, the Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, and an AASECT-certified sexuality educator. For more than 20 years, Dr. Herbenick’s research has focused on women’s sexual health, U.S. population-representative research, vulvar and vaginal health, as well as the use of sexual stimulation devices– all studied through a feminist science lens. She has developed novel lines of scientific inquiry including genital self-image and its relationship to health, exercise- induced orgasm, as well as evolving shifts in sexual behavior and the health consequences of rough sex behaviors. The Female Genital Self-Image Scale has been translated into more than a dozen languages and is widely used in research and clinical work. Dr. Herbenick’s research has received more than $7.6 million in support from individual philanthropists, private foundations (such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Patty Brisben Foundation, and The Case for Her) as well as federal support, including from NIH/NICHD. From 2016-2018, Dr. Herbenick served as the president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). In 2023, she was elected by her peers to serve as president-elect of the International Academy of Sex Research.
Dr. Herbenick has published more than 200 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and serves as PI on the award-winning National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, a collaborative project of researchers at the IU School of Public Health and IU School of Medicine. Her research has been cited more than 10,000 times and she has published six general audience books about sexuality. Her latest book is “Yes Your Kid: What Parents Need to Know About Today’s Teens and Sex.”
Dr. Herbenick’s research, books, and expertise have been featured in popular media including The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, the Tyra Banks Show, the Tamron Hall Show, Discovery Health’s Curiosity, the Emmy-nominated documentary Hot Girls Wanted, and thousands of media articles and television shows.