Dr. Deborah L. Tolman is a professor of Women and Gender Studies at Hunter College. She teaches a course on girlhood, “Growing Up Girl,” and the senior seminar in Women and Gender Studies. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and several books and edited volumes, including Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk about Sexuality (Harvard, 2002) and The American Psychological Association Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology (2015, with Lisa Diamond).
Dr. Tolman holds an MS in human sexuality education (UPenn) and a doctorate in applied developmental psychology (Harvard Graduate School of Education). She is a co-founder (with Lyn Mikel Brown and Dana Edell) of SPARK Movement, an intergenerational initiative supporting intergeneration feminist activism between women and girls.
Her current projects include: writing a book on girls’ experiences of embodied sexuality, Desiring Girls: Teenage Girls Talk about Sex and Relationships; qualitative, experimental and participatory action research studies on diverse girls’ and young women’s management and perceptions of racialized sexualization and body surveillance; and SexGenLab, a web platform to translate and disseminate “critical knowledge for critical times” making scholarship on gender and sexuality accessible to the public, a project of SexGenLab, a collaborative of doctoral students who produce and disseminate critical research.
In Spring 2018, she launched and directed PhenomenalWomen@RH, a series at the Roosevelt House Institute of Public Policy, bringing the voices and experiences of remarkable women to the Hunter community and beyond.
Dr. Tolman is also on the faculty of the Critical Social Psychology doctoral program at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Human Rights and Public Policy faculties at Roosevelt House. Prior to joining the faculty at Hunter, she was a professor of sexuality studies at San Francisco State University, where she was the founding director of the Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality (CREGS).