Gilbert Herdt (born February 24, 1949) is an American cultural anthropologist who specializes in sexuality and gender identity-based cultures. His studies of the 'Sambia' people -- a pseudonym he created -- of Papua New Guinea analyzes how culture and society create sexual meanings and practices. In the United States, Herdt has also studied adolescents and their families, the emergence of HIV and gay culture, and the role that social policy plays in sexual health.
A Ph.D holder, Herdt is the Professor of Human Sexuality Studies and Anthropology and Director of the Program in Human Sexuality Studies and National Sexuality Resource Center at San Francisco State University. He has taught at Stanford University, the University of Chicago, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Washington. In early 2000s, Herdt cofounded the Institute on Sexuality, Social Inequality and Health that studies all forms of sexuality and discrimination that affect community building, sexual culture and sexual health.
A prolific writer, Herdt has written and edited some 30 books, and more than 100 scientific papers. He is also the general editor of Worlds of Desire, and an associate editor of Journal of Culture, Sexuality, and Health, Journal of Men and Masculinities, and Transaction: Journal of Social Science and Modern Society.
Herdt is the recipient of various awards and research grants, including:
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