Linda De Villers


Office Hours:
M: 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. (online) and
W: 3:10 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.

Alternate Email:

Primary Area: Human Sexuality

Teaching, Research, and Practice Interests:
For several decades I have taught Human Sexuality courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on a number of Southern California campuses. I am also a licensed psychologist with a specialty in Sex and Relationship therapy and have written two books related to my specialty, one of which is now in its sixth edition.

I have held elected and volunteer positions in several professional organizations specializing in sexuality issues: The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, The American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists, and the World Association of Sexual Health. In addition to presenting at many national and international professional conferences, I have written several peer-reviewed journal articles, a chapter in a peer-reviewed book, and served as the sex columnist for Health magazine for a year.

Teaching and Research Interests:
The modern study of psychology takes the perspective that the mind is comprised of many, often independently functioning, neural mechanisms. The evolutionary developmental approach seeks to understand 1) which mechanisms reliably develop, 2) the selection pressures that shaped these mechanisms, 3) the ontological inputs that affect their development and 4) the resulting variation in phenotype.

My current research direction looks at mechanisms that influence the perception of risk-taking vis-a-vis "costly signaling theory." Costly behavior, i.e. binge drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes, is often expensive, physiologically aversive, and dangerous to health. Could the motivation for this counter-intuitive behavior stem from, in part, that publicly tolerating cost increases one's perceived value as a friend or mate?

My applied psychology course, Environmental Psychology (Psych 40), looks at behavior that negatively affects the environment (meat eating), the psychology behind those behaviors (comfort, status, etc.), and what psychology can do to curb such environmentally deleterious behaviors.