Lori Brotto


Research Interests

Sexual Dysfunctions
sexual desire
sexual dysfunction

Relevant Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters


Research Methodology

clinical trials


Master's students
Postdoctoral Fellows

Eye tracking studies of women with sexual dysfunction; online RCT of mindfulness-based treatment for sexual dysfunction

I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).
I am interested in hiring Co-op students for research placements.

Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
  • Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
Focus your search
  • Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
  • Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
    • Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
    • Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
Make a good impression
  • Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
    • Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
    • Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
  • Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
  • Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
  • Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
    • Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
    • Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
  • Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
Attend an information session

G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2020)
Asexuality: Investigations into a lack of sexual attraction (2016)

Human asexuality is generally defined as a lack of sexual attraction. Various theories have been proposed to explain how asexuality should best be conceptualized, including that asexuality should be classified as a sexual orientation, that it is due to a mental health difficulty, that it is an extreme variant of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), or that some asexual individuals actually experience a paraphilia of some kind. This dissertation employed a series of Internet-based research studies to investigate these three topics: an examination into mental health correlates of asexuality, a comparison of asexual individuals with individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for HSDD, and an investigation into patterns of sexual fantasy among asexual individuals. By investigating these topics, I sought to test whether asexuality might be a psychopathology, sexual dysfunction, or a paraphilia, with the ultimate goal of testing my hypothesis that asexuality is, in fact, a unique sexual orientation. My findings suggested that asexuality may be associated with higher prevalence of mental health and interpersonal problems, including anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, psychoticism, and suicidality, but that it is not, itself, a mental disorder. I concluded that this may be in response to perceived stigma against their sexual orientation, which might lead to psychological symptoms, or that lack of sexual attraction may arise from an underlying difficulty such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Next, I found that asexuality is unique from the well-known sexual dysfunction HSDD. In my test of whether asexuality was a paraphilia, I found that asexual individuals were less likely to masturbate than sexual individuals, and that they were more likely to report never having had a sexual fantasy. Further, there was a large amount of unexpected overlap in the content of sexual fantasies between asexual and sexual participants. Together, these findings suggest that at least some asexual individuals may have a paraphilia. Overall, this dissertation highlights that no single theory can explain asexuality, and underscores the diversity among the asexual population. This dissertation leads to a number of new hypotheses about the nature of asexuality that will be the focus of future research.

View record


If this is your researcher profile you can log in to the Faculty & Staff portal to update your details and provide recruitment preferences.


Discover the amazing research that is being conducted at UBC!