Katrina L. Pariera

Katrina Pariera
Associate Professor of Communication; Director, MA Program in Communication Management
600 21st Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

  • Sexual Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Social Norms

Current Research

Dr. Pariera's research is on sexual communication, namely interpersonal communication between peers, and between parents and children, about sex and sex-related issues. She looks at how to increase the frequency and quality of difficult conversations. She also explores social norms about sex and the effect that they have on individuals, families, and friends. Other areas of her research include health communication campaigns, humor and emotion, sex in the media, and cultural contexts of sexual health and well-being.


Ph.D., University of Southern California
M.A., Georgetown University
B.A., Portland State University


Pariera, K. L. (2018). Women’s sexual communication with peers, and its association with sexual wellbeing. International Journal of Sexual Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/19317611.2018.1491923
*Featured in PsyPost, GW Today, The Hatchet, Romper, MindBodyGreen

Pariera, K. L. (2018). Replication of a rank-framed social norms experiment. Communication Studies, 69 (3), 263-271. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2018.1462839

Pariera, K. L., & Brody, E. (2018) “Talk more about it”: Emerging adults’ attitudes about how and when parents should talk about sex. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 15 (2). 219-229. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-017-0314-9
*Featured in Rewire, Northern Virginia Magazine

Pariera, K. L. & McCormack, T. A. (2017) “Why can’t we just have sex?”: An analysis of 9th grade students’ anonymous questions about sex. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 12 (3), 277-296. DOI: 10.1080/15546128.2017.1359801

Pariera, K. L. (2017) The influence of humor and amusement on mother-adolescent sexual communication. International Journal of Humor Research, 30 (3), 323-345. DOI: 10.1515/humor-2016-0046

Pariera, K. L., Murphy, S. T. Meng, J., & McLaughlin, M. L. (2017) Exploring willingness to participate in clinical trials by ethnicity. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Disparities, 4 (4), 763-769. DOI: 10.1007/s40615-016-0280-6.

Pariera, K. L. (2016) Barriers and prompts to parent-child sexual communication. Journal of Family Communication, 16 (3), 277-283. DOI: 10.1080/15267431.2016.1181068

Pariera, K. L. (2016) Barriers and prompts to parent-child sexual communication. Journal of Family Communication. DOI: 10.1080/15267431.2016.1181068

Pariera, K. L. (in press) Understanding mothers’ information-seeking about mother-adolescent sexual communication. The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society.

Pariera, K. L. (2016) The communication of sexual norms. In C.M. Noland & J. Manning (Eds.), Contemporary Studies of Sexuality & Communication. (pp). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt. ISBN: 9781465270245

Meng, J, McLaughlin, M. L., Pariera, K. L., & Murphy, S. T. (2016) A comparison between Caucasians and African Americans in willingness to participate in cancer clinical trials: The roles of knowledge, distrust, information sources and religiosity. Journal of Health Communication, 21(6), 669-677, DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2016.1153760

Pariera, K. L. (2015) Perceived effects of instructional pornography on the self, partner, and others. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 30 (3), 385-400. DOI: 10.1080/14681994.2014.967760

Pariera, K. L., Hether, H. J., Murphy, S. M., de Castro Buffington, S., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2014). Portrayals of reproductive and sexual health on primetime television. Health Communication, 29 (7), 698-706. DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2013.774653

Pariera, K. L. (2013). Misperceived social norms about taboo sexual behavior. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, 16. Available from http://www.ejhs.org/volume16/Norms.html

Pariera, K. L. (2012). Information literacy on the Web: How college students use visual and textual cues to assess credibility on health websites. Communications in Information Literacy, 6 (1), 34-48.


Classes Taught

Undergraduate Courses

COMM 4199 - Senior Seminar
COMM 3110 - Research Methods
COMM/SOC 2162 - Sociology of the Family

Undergraduate/Graduate Bridge Courses

COMM 2100 - Communication Theory
COMM 2179 - Sexual Communication