Skip to Main Content

Sophia Selino

Sophia Selino ’21, a graduate of the psychology program, recently learned that her undergraduate research with Dr. Ross Krawczyk, associate professor of psychology, will be published by the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the prestigious official publication of the International Academy of Sex Research.

The research article, titled “Happiness with circumcision status, not status itself, predicts genital self-image in a geographically diverse sample,” was the result of a Saint Rose summer research grant-funded project. 

Selino, who is planning to attend graduate school, is living in New Haven, Connecticut, where she works for The Consultation Center at Yale University as a research assistant. In her role, she supports grant-funded research projects focusing on community psychology. Currently, her work is centered on mental health services in public schools.

We talked to her recently about her work.

What inspired you to do this research with Dr. Krawczyk?

The initial conception of this research idea stemmed from genuine curiosity about the topic. I started doing a lot of reading and noticed some areas where the research seemed far and few between. So, I went to Dr. Krawczyk with lots of scattered thoughts and ideas, and he really helped breathe life into the project by narrowing my focus. Together, we were able to turn it into a viable research project.

What surprised you about your discovery?

I can’t say that I was really surprised by the main discovery of our research. Our analyses suggested that happiness with one’s circumcision status was more important than actual circumcision status for genital self-image. There is one other research study that investigated this and found the same thing. It makes a lot of sense because it emphasizes the importance of individual attitudinal factors. I had also hypothesized that happiness with circumcision status would be dependent on whether one fits into the norms for penile circumcision within their geographic region, but the data didn’t support this. In the paper, I examine a couple of reasons for why those results may have turned out the way they did.

Aside from the research results, what did you gain from the experience of working on research with a faculty member?

It is immeasurable how much I have gained from working with Dr. Krawczyk. He taught me a lot about the process for graduate school admissions and helped me navigate my career goals. He was a tremendous support for the peer review process, which is something I couldn’t have done without him. He encouraged me to reach out to scholars doing similar research, which helped me build broader connections. Most importantly, he believed in this project from the start. Having support from him and other faculty at Saint Rose has been so valuable and is something I’ll always carry with me.

How did it feel to learn that your research would be published in a prestigious journal?

Surreal. I’ve read and admired a lot of research that has been published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, and it is incredible to know that my work will be published alongside exceptional research. There was a huge sense of relief as well, knowing that a project that began almost three years ago will finally leave the confines of my own computer.

What are your career goals?

I’d like to attend graduate school where I can continue research on topics of interest. Wherever that takes me, I know it will always be interesting.