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About Dr. Caron

One of America’s Best Sex Professors

Dr. CaronSandra L. Caron, Ph.D. is Professor of Family Relations and Human Sexuality in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine. She received her undergraduate and Master’s degree from the University of Maine (1979, 1982) and her Ph.D. from Syracuse University in New York in 1986. She left her Health Education position at Cornell University in 1988 to return to her home State of Maine. In addition to her faculty position, she works as a therapist specializing in sexuality-related concerns in Bangor.

Teaching: In addition to teaching the large undergraduate course in human sexuality, Dr. Caron teaches a graduate course in sexuality, as well as two undergraduate courses in family studies. She also served as the founder and director of several peer education programs, including: “Athletes for Sexual Responsibility,” “The Greek Peer Educator Program,” and “Male Athletes Against Violence.” Due to the success of their educational videos and poster series, these programs have become models for other colleges and universities across the country. In the summers, Dr. Caron has taught a study abroad course, Human Sexuality: Europe versus the United States, which takes students to England, The Netherlands, and Sweden to examine firsthand how other countries deal with sexuality issues.

Research: Dr. Caron’s primary focus has been in the area of human sexuality. Her 50+ publications have focused on the socio-sexual development of young people, with an emphasis on sexual decision-making, contraceptive use/safer sex, sexual assault, and sexuality education. She has authored four books: Sex Matters for College Students – FAQs in Human Sexuality (2008) and Sex Around the World – Cross Cultural Perspectives on Human Sexuality (2016),  and Birds and Bees and More: How Babies are Made and Families Form (2016). Her most recent book is The Sex Lives of College Student: Three Decades of Attitudes and Behaviors (2021), which is the result of her thirty years of research focusing on college students.

Service: Nationally, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). She has been actively involved in committee work for both AASECT and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. In Maine, she has served on the Board of Directors for such organizations as the Maine Family Planning Association, the Eastern Maine AIDS Network, and the Mabel Wadsworth Health Center. On campus, Dr. Caron has served on over 50 committees, including the President’s Council on Women, the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Concerns Committee, Sexual Assault & Violence Prevention Committee, AIDS Education Committee, Faculty Senate, and the Graduate Board. For two decades, she wrote a weekly column on sexuality for the campus newspaper entitled SEX MATTERS, which became the longest-running column on sexuality in a campus newspaper; she also hosted a radio show by the same name on the campus station.

Awards: Dr. Caron has received numerous recognitions for her work. Most recently:

  • 2019 Distinguished Maine Professor, University of Maine Alumni Association
  • 2016 Dean’s Research and Creative Achievement Award, College of Education & Human Development, University of Maine
  • 2009 Outstanding Faculty, Nontraditional Students Association, University of Maine
  • 2008 & 2014 Graduate Faculty Mentor Award, College of Education & Human Development, University of Maine
  • 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award – Sororities, University of Maine
  • 2004 University of Maine All-Maine Women, Honorary member
  • 2002 Presidential Public Service Achievement Award, presented to one faculty member each year at the University of Maine.
  • 1999 Margaret Vaughn Award, presented by the Family Planning Association of Maine for her outstanding contribution to sexuality;
  • 1998 Presidential Outstanding Teacher of the Year, presented to one faculty member each year at the University of Maine;
  • 1997 Outstanding Faculty Student-Centered Award, presented by the Office of Student Affairs at the University of Maine

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Sex lives of college students book cover