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Outstanding Theoretical Paper Award

The nomination material is reviewed by the three-person Theoretical Paper/Bullough Book Award Subcommittee. While serving on the Committee, the Committee Chair and members of the Subcommittee are not eligible to win the award. If a Subcommittee member would like to be considered for the award, they will be replaced during that review year. The Subcommittee makes recommendations to the SSSS Board of Directors for final approval. If a member of the Board is an author on a nominated paper, that Board member will abstain from the vote.


This award is given every other year (in alternate years from the Bullough Book Award) to recognize an outstanding journal article or chapter with a copyright in the previous two years, in which theoretical explanations of human sexual attitudes and/or behaviors are developed. In addition to careful theoretical development, emphasis will be placed on the use of relevant empirical evidence to examine the validity of the theoretical explanations.

The 2023 nomination submission period has closed.

Call for nominations for 2025 will open January 1, 2025.

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In the year the award is presented, the recipient receives: 

  • Commemorative plaque (awarded to the first author)
  • $250 award (awarded to the first author)
  • $500 for travel to attend the SSSS Annual Conference to accept the award and deliver a talk during a concurrent session*
  • One night's accommodation at the conference host hotel*
  • Complimentary conference registration*

*The travel, hotel, and conference registration are limited to one author. If travel is not required to attend the conference (e.g., the winner lives in the conference city or SSSS holds a virtual conference), travel and hotel will not be provided, but complimentary conference registration will remain in place.

Conditions on Accepting the Award

Attend the SSSS Annual Conference to receive the award and present the article/chapter during a concurrent session.

Nomination Period 

The nomination period is open from January 1 - March 15 every other year (in alternate years from the Bullough Book Award).

Nomination Guidelines and Process

Authors of nominated articles/chapters do not need to be SSSS members, but the nominator must be a SSSS member. Self-nominations from SSSS members are welcome.

The nominator bears responsibility for submitting the completed nomination.

Articles or chapters published in 2023 & 2024 are eligible for the 2025 award.

The nominator must complete an online form and attach two documents (pdf).

  1. Article or Chapter
  2. A letter, with a paragraph or two, explaining why this publication should be considered for this award. 

Review Criteria

The article/chapter is evaluated based upon the following criteria:

  • The extent to which it advances a novel, parsimonious, and testable theory
  • The extent to which the theory is applicable and useful for explaining human sexual attitudes and behaviors
  • The extent to which the theory is examined in light of relevant empirical evidence (new or existing)
  • The extent to which the book acknowledges, includes, values, and/or amplifies diverse voices and strengths in sex science


Questions? Contact SSSS at

Outstanding Theoretical Paper Award Recipients



        Sari van Anders, PhD; Debra Herbenick, PhD, MPH, CSE;
        Lori A. Brotto, PhD, R Psych; Emily A. Harris, PhD; Sara B. Chadwick, PhD

       The Heteronormativity Theory of Low Sexual Desire in Women Partnered with Men (2022)

Dylan Selterman, PhD; Amanda N. Gesselman, PhD; Amy C. Moors, PhD
Sexuality Through the Lens of Secure Base Dynamics: Individual Differences in Sexploration
Personality and Individual Differences 147 (1) | September 2019 | Pages 229-236


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