The development of gender and sexuality, including issues involving sexual orientation, sexual differentiation, intersexuality, transgenderism and asexuality, hold great fascination to me. I am continually striving to maintain my understanding of these topics at the level in line with the most recent scholarly findings. Other areas of interest encompass the treatment of sexual dysfunction, mating psychology, and human/primate relationship dynamics and patterns. Additionally, I place great importance on the conduct of meticulous and comprehensive research design and statistical analysis, in both clinical and experimental contexts.
My graduate work has largely focused on the topics of Human Sexuality and Gender. However, under this umbrella, it can be considered as diverse. Given my penchant for and experience with evolutionary psychology, I was very interested in the paradox of male homosexuality. If it is that there is a strong genetic component to homosexuality, given that they incur a significant reproductive disadvantage, how is it that this genetic component has been allowed to perpetuate over evolutionary time? This is the question I spent time examining during my time at the University of Lethbridge. I have also been invited to speak on this and similar topics at the University of Cambridge, at Hughes Hall College and at an assortment of organizations in the surrounding area.
Switching themes, I have always been fascinated with that which lies between the dichotomies of male-female, man-woman, and so on. As such, I knew I wanted to work with one of the Disorders of Sexual Development (a DSM-5 term) or intersex conditions that regularly result in the demonstration of gender and/or sexual ambiguity. As such, I worked with Dr. Melissa Hines and Dr. Vickie Pasterski with boys and girls with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), a condition that results in heightened prenatal androgen exposure. With this population, I examined gender identity presentation (as measured using multi-faceted and standardized measuring tools) in a population of 7-11 year-old girls and boys with and without CAH.
Publications, Posters, & Papers
Masters of Philosophy Dissertation (Cambridge University, UK): Abild, M. L. (2014) Gender identity development in children with heightened prenatal androgen exposure. In partial fulfillment of a Master of Philosophy degree.
Master of Science Dissertation (University of Lethbridge): Abild, M. L. (2012). Kin selection and male androphilia: Sociocultural influences on the expression of kin-directed altruism. In partial fulfillment of a Master of Science degree.
Abild, M. L., VanderLaan, D. P., & Vasey, P. L. (2014). Does geographic proximity influence the expression of avuncular tendencies in Canadian androphilic males? Journal of Cognition and Culture, 14, 41–63.