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STEPHANIE

RAPOSO

PhD Student

 

About Me

I am a Ph.D. student at York University in the Social and Personality Psychology Area. My current research, under the supervision of Dr. Amy Muise in the Sexual Health and Relationships (SHaRe) Lab, draws on implicit theories of sexual satisfaction—that is, people’s lay beliefs about how to maintain a satisfying sexual relationship—to investigate novel questions about how couples can sustain their intimate connections, even in the face of declines in sexual desire. Specifically, I am taking a novel conceptual approach that combines implicit sexual beliefs and attribution theories to test whether attributions for declines in sexual desire account for the associations between people’s implicit sexual beliefs and relationship quality.

In my master's thesis research, I drew upon an existing theoretical framework in social psychology to investigate the role of self-expanding activitiesthat is, novel, exciting activities- in the maintenance of desire and satisfaction in relationships. 

Broadly, I am interested in how committed couples maintain their relationship and sexual well-being, even in the face of sexual desire difficulties. 

Featured in the Media

To view my recent research featured in the media, click an icon!

 
 

Research Highlights

Merry-Go-Round Fun

Self-Expansion

Trying new and exciting things with your partner or broadening your sense of self through experiences with your partner has benefits for your relationship and sex life—even if you don’t desire sex as much as you would like to. 

Handshake

Sexual Exchange

Avoidantly attached people—  those who value independence and avoid closeness and intimacy—prefer keeping the exchange of sexual favors with their partner even, and this is linked to lower relationship satisfaction over time. 

Couple Hugging

Responsiveness

Perceiving your partner as responsive to your sexual needs is one promising protective factor for people high in attachment anxiety, who fear rejection and desire constant reassurance.

Merry-Go-Round Fun

Self-Expansion

Trying new and exciting things with your partner or broadening your sense of self through experiences with your partner has benefits for your relationship and sex life—even if you don’t desire sex as much as you would like to. 

Handshake

Sexual Exchange

Avoidantly attached people—  those who value independence and avoid closeness and intimacy—prefer keeping the exchange of sexual favors with their partner even, and this is linked to lower relationship satisfaction over time. 

Thinking of Ideas

Sexual Beliefs

Do you believe in soulmates, or do you think happy relationships require hard work? Beliefs about the fate of our sex lives are linked to our levels of sexual desire, relationship quality, and mental health. 

Couple Hugging

Responsiveness

Perceiving your partner as responsive to your sexual needs is one promising protective factor for people high in attachment anxiety, who fear rejection and desire constant reassurance.

Image by Nathan Dumlao

Imagine Never Meeting your Partner

Imagining you never met your partner does not make you feel happier or more grateful for them, which is unlike what other research on mental subtraction might suggest.

Image by Sigmund

Unmet Sexual Ideals

Perceiving your partner as not meeting your sexual ideals can be costly for your relationship and sexual quality. The good news? Seeing your partner as being responsive to your sexual needs can help.

 

Education

2016 / APRIL

B.A. HONOURS PSYCHOLOGY

University of Ottawa

Advisor: Dr. Jean-François Bureau

2019 / SEP - PRESENT

PH.D. SOCIAL & PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY

York University

Advisor: Dr. Amy Muise

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2019 / JULY

M.A. SOCIAL & PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY

York University

Advisor: Dr. Amy Muise