Speaker: Robert-Paul Juster, PhD, Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health (see below for bio)
Topic: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in Relation to Biopsychosocial Stress
RSVP at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/sin-talk-tickets-37727148918
Abstract: Every cell is sexed, every person is gendered, and every organism is stressed. Whereas sex refers to a multi-dimensional construct that includes genes, anatomy, gonads, and hormones that collectively define us as male or female, gender refers to an array of socio-culturally constructed roles, orientations, and identities that further influence within-sex variations in stress and coping. Diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are also related to unique sets of exposures and experiences that correspond with health inequalities that are the focus of my current postdoctoral research. In this talk, I will share my transdisciplinary research program that nuances sex, gender, and sexuality in relation to stress biology and mental health throughout lifespan development. By applying a sex- and gender-based analysis that appreciates individual variation beyond sex binaries, I will demonstrate how one's sex, sex hormones, gender-roles, and sexual orientation uniquely influence functioning of the stress hormone cortisol and multi-systemic physiological dysregulation known as allostatic load linked to physical and mental health alike. The take-home message of this decade's worth of integrative neuroscience research can be summarized as follows: when studying stress-related phenomena that appears to differ between the sexes,accounting for both biological factors like sex hormones and gender-based factors like gender-roles and sexual orientation allows researchers to delineate inter-individual diversity more fully. At theoretical, empirical,and clinical levels, this approach provides a powerful framework to help solve health problems that cannot be easily explained by focusing solely on binary sex differences.
Biography: Robert-Paul Juster, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow with the Program for the Study of LGBT Health in the Division of Gender, Sexuality,and Health at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Juster's research program focuses on chronic stress among diverse social groups. Over the last decade in mentorship with Drs. Sonia Lupien, Jens Pruessner, and Bruce McEwen, Dr. Juster has developed expertise in measuring chronic stress known as allostatic load (AL) that describes the physiological dysregulations related to chronic stress and unhealthy behaviors. Currently in the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health, working with Drs. Walter Bockting and Anke A. Ehrhardt, he is researching the health and well-being of sexual and gender minorities with a focus on social support in aging among LGBT populations as well as stress-related fMRI neural regulation among transgender individuals. In collaboration with Dr. Mark Hatzenbuehler in Sociomedical Sciences, he is also applying macro-level perspectives to assess geopolitical differencesin state-level indices of structural stigma and how this impacts AL and health trajectories.Presented by the Einstein <http://einsteinlab.ca/> and VanderLaan <http://sites.utm.utoronto.ca/biglab/content/home> Labsat U of T, the *Sexuality Interest Network *(SIN) brings students and researchers from social, developmental, biobehavioral, and clinical programs together to exchange ideas on sex, gender, and sexuality.
Presented by the Einstein <http://einsteinlab.ca/> and VanderLaan <http://sites.utm.utoronto.ca/biglab/content/home> Labs at U of T, the *Sexuality Interest Network *(SIN) brings students and researchers from social, developmental, biobehavioral, and clinical programs together to exchange ideas on sex, gender, and sexuality.