Interview with Maya G. Sen, Ph.D.
Maya G. Sen, Ph.D, was a presenter for the Summer Institute on Sexuality: Sexuality, Activism, and Social Change in 2017. Here’s a little more about her work.
Who are you, and what is the work you do?
I am an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at Santa Clara University. I teach courses on sexuality and gender identity, as well as on research methods, statistics, child development, and general psychology. My current research focuses on non/conformity to gender roles in people of varied gender identities and sexual orientations. I recently moved back to the Bay Area from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and am delighted to be back home (and to not have to shovel snow!). I’m currently looking to find work in a non-profit supporting queer and trans youth.
How does your work address sexuality & social justice?
I use my voice to fight for social justice with regards to sexuality in my classroom, with my students, and with my colleagues. I strive to make a variety of aspects of sexuality a normal part of conversation, rather than something taboo or embarrassing to discuss. I believe that educating people on sexuality is an important part of the social justice movement.
Where is the future of the sexuality fields going?
I believe that the field of sexuality is becoming more diverse in terms researching and discussion queer issues and kink issues in terms that are less and less pathologizing. There is more focus on treating people’s identities as legitimate, and a deeper understanding of the differences between sex and gender. This broader, more accepting focus will benefit both the field and those who it studies.
What resources in the sexuality fields do you recommend?
I’m currently reading Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele’s Queer: A Graphic History. It’s an accessible book, written in the style of a graphic novel, portraying the field of Queer Studies. It take an inter-sectional approach to examining issues and highlighting key figures in the field. As for non-work-related media, I’m a sucker for anything Joss Whedon, and fell in love with Rogue One when I saw that it took place immediately before the original Star Wars. I’ve been waiting since 1977 for that story!
Anything else to add?
I’m so excited to speak at the Summer Institute! I attended as a learner in 2015, and am thrilled to be able to share my expertise with people interested in sexuality and social justice.
Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs