Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH, CSE

Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education, Institute for Sexual and Gender Health

Kristen Mark

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-1500

Administrative Assistant Name
Eric Collins

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education, Institute for Sexual and Gender Health

PhD, Indiana University

MPH, Indiana University

MS, University of Guelph

CSE, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, & Therapists (AASECT)-Certified Sexuality Educator, 2017


Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH, CSE, is a sex and relationship researcher and educator. She is the current Joycelyn Elders Endowed Chair for Sexual Health Education and Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School's Institute for Sexual and Gender Health (ISGH). She is affiliate faculty at the Kinsey Institute with a national and international reputation as a sexual scientist and educator. Her research program centers around sexual well-being, specifically the maintenance of sexual and relationship satisfaction and sexual desire in long-term relationships, sexual function and dysfunction, sexual trauma, and sexual desire discrepancy. 

Dr. Mark is committed to community advocacy for inclusive comprehensive sexual health education that integrates messages of sexual pleasure and works to change sex education policy at state and national levels. Dr. Mark holds degrees in psychology, family science, biostatistics, and public health and her research and therapeutic approaches are as interdisciplinary as her training. She consistently publishes her scientific research in the top journals and has presented her work through hundreds of talks nationally and internationally. Additionally, Dr. Mark is regularly relied upon as an expert to digest sex and relationship science to print, radio, and television media. 

Pronouns: she/her/hers



Leistner, C.E., Haus, K.R., Rosenkrantz, D.E. & Mark, K.P.  The Co-existence of Love and Desire: Experiences of Bisexual, Lesbian, and Heterosexual Women. Sexuality & Culture (2021).

Vowels, L., Vowels, M., & Mark, K. P. (in press). Is infidelity predictable? Using explainable machine learning to identify the most important predictors of infidelity. Journal of Sex Research.

Lukacena, K., & Mark, K. P. (in press). Communicating a history of sexual trauma: Partner responses to women’s disclosure. Violence Against Women.

Vowels, L., Vowels, M., & Mark, K. P. (in press). Uncovering the most important factors for predicting sexual desire using interpretable machine learning. Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Mark, K. P., Corona, E., & Murueta Cruz, M. (in press). Importance of sexual pleasure for uality and inclusive comprehensive sexuality education. International Journal of Sexual Health.

Lehmiller, J. J., Garcia, J. R., Gesselman, A. N., & Mark, K. P. (2021). Less sex, but more sexual diversity: Changes in sexual behavior during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Leisure Sciences, 43(1-2),

Vowels, L., Rosenkrantz, D., Brown, H., & Mark, K. P. (2020). Ebbs and Flows of Desire: A Qualitative Exploration of Contextual Factors Affecting Sexual Desire in Bisexual, Lesbian, and Straight Women. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.

Lehmiller, J., Garcia, J., Gesselman, A., & Mark, K. P. (2020). Less sex, but more sexual diversity: Changes in sexual behavior during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Leisure Sciences. doi:10.1080/01490400.2020.1774016 

Scott-Sheldon, L.A.J., Mark, K.P., Balzarini, R.N. et al. (2020). Call for Proposals: Special Issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior on the Impact of COVID-19 on Sexual Health and Behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01725-8 

Mark, K. P., & Schuman, D. (2020). A scoping review of the practice recommendations of secrets in couple’s therapy. Journal of Family Psychotherapy. doi:10.1080/08975353.2020.1759019.

Kim, J. J., Muise, A., Barranti, M., Mark, K. P., Rosen, N. O., Harasymchuk, C., & Impett, E. (2020). Are couples more satisfied when they match in sexual desire? New insights from response surface analysis. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 

Mark, K. P., Vowels, L. & Bunting, A. (2020). The impact of bisexual identity on sexual and relationship satisfaction of mixed sex couples. Journal of Bisexuality, 20(2), 119-140. doi: 10.1080/15299716.2020.1734137 

Mark, K.P., Vowels, L., & Leistner, C. (2020). “Not tonight, honey”: Reasons for sexual refusal in a daily experience study of mixed-sex couples. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 

Mark, K. P., & Vowels, L. (2020). Sexual consent and sexual agency of women in healthy relationships following a history of sexual trauma. Psychology & Sexuality. 

Vowels, L. M., & Mark, K. P. (2020). Strategies for mitigating sexual desire discrepancy in relationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-020-01640-y 


In The News

What Happens to Our Bodies During Sex (Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH, CST, mentioned)

Why Valentine's Day Is Good for Your Relationship (written by Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH, CSE, )

Are people having more sex during the pandemic? (Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH, CSE, mentioned)