Gurit Birnbaum completed her university studies in Israel and received a PhD degree in Psychology at Bar-Ilan University in 1998. She published more than 30 articles and book chapters. Her main research interests are: romantic relationships, human sexuality, and evolutionary psychology. More specifically, her research focuses on the convoluted role played by sexuality in the broader context of close relationship. Her research has involved the construction of assessment tools for studying individual differences in the sexual behavioral system, which have been used to shed light on the processes that mediate the impact of sexuality on close relationships; e.g., differential importance at different stages of development; the meaning couples attribute to their sex lives; the functional significance of sexuality within romantic relationship; and the link between sexuality and other aspects of the relationship. Her present research program employs experimental, qualitative, and daily experience methodologies to investigate the complex interplay between the attachment and sexual behavioral systems within romantic relationships and the dual potential of the sexual system for both satisfying and dysfunctional relational interaction.
Dr. Birnbaum was a post-doc at the University of Rochester. She was a lecturer at the Psychology Department, Bar-Ilan University and the head of its Experimental Psychology Program, as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. From 2008, she is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, where she received the outstanding researcher and lecturer awards. Dr. Birnbaum frequently contributes to international academic journals and she is an associate editor of Personal Relationships and serves as a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.