The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Amy Schalet

Associate Professor

Amy T. Schalet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Sociology at UMass Amherst.  Dr. Schalet is a specialist in culture and adolescent sexuality in comparative perspective, and author of Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex.  Not Under My Roof is an award-winning, scholarly study of culture, sexuality, and institutions.  It has also been used as a tool to inform policy and practice by physicians, policymakers, parents, social workers, and other youth-serving professionals. In addition, Schalet has co-authored several influential review articles synthesizing scientific evidence pertinent to sexual health policy making.  She has worked closely with physicians and other clinicians on new approaches to adolescent sexuality, and has shared her research with over 40 policy and practitioner groups, including the Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Massachusetts and Colorado Departments of Public Health, and the Friends School of Portland. Schalet's public scholarship on sexuality, culture, and health has appeared in high-profile outlets, including NBC Think, the New York TimesWashington Post, Conversation, and Huffington Post. Schalet regularly comments in the media on stories related to adolescence, sexuality, and growing up, including on CNN, Marketplace, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and Wired Magazine.

Schalet is an expert in the practicemethods, theory, and evaluation of public scholarship, and the public communication of academic knowledge. From 2014 to 2018, she served as the inaugural director of the UMass Public Engagement Project, whose mission it is to train faculty members to use research to contribute to social change, inform public policy, and enrich public debate. Pioneering the Public Engagement Project Faculty Fellowship, Schalet provided peer mentoring to thirty one faculty fellows from across the social and natural sciences, education, engineering, and the humanities.  PEP fellows gained media citations, testified in front of the UN, collaborated with community groups, and effectively engaged diverse non-ademic constituencies.  For her work mentoring colleagues, broadening their careers by increasing the reach of their work, and creating vital infrastructure, Schalet was honored with a Provost's citation and The 2021 ADVANCE Faculty Peer Mentoring Award in the College for Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Schalet was a co-author of the American Sociological Association’s 2016 white paper, “What Counts? Evaluating Public Communication in Tenure and Promotion," which has invited attention from scientific societies, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Sponsored Paradigm Project, and the media. She has been an invited speaker on the cultivation and evaluation of public engagement at the American Educational Research Association, Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the University of Michigan Meetings, and the American Sociological Association's new Sociology Action Network Initiative. In 2020/2021, Schalet led the UMass Sociology Department's Ideas in Action series, curating twelve panels, workshops, and special events in which department members explored tensions and reconciliations in their commitments to science and ethics, as well as to academics, advocacy, and activism. 

Within the PhD program, Schalet teaches the Sociology of Culture, the Sociology of Sexualities, In-Depth Interviewing as a Methodology, and a seminar on public engagement, entitled Making Research Public.  In the undergraduate program, Schalet teaches Sexuality and Society, Society and the Individual, and the Junior-Year Writing Requirement.

Schalet continues to write about sexuality, culture, adolescence, and the theory, methods, and evaluation of public engagement. In addition, she is working on two new books.  


Ph.D., Sociology, University of California–Berkeley, 2003

A.B., Social Studies, Harvard College, 1992.


Schalet, Amy T., Linda R. Tropp, and Lisa M. Troy.  2020. "Making Research Usable Beyond Academic Circles: A Relational Model of Public Engagement." Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

Schalet, Amy. 2018. "The Media: Helping Journalists Use and Interpret Your Research." In Making Research Matter: A Psychologist's Guide to Public Engagement. Tropp, Linda (Ed). Washington DC: APA Books.

Santelli, John S., et al. 2017. "Abstinence-only-until-marriage: An updated review of US policies and programs and their impact." Journal of Adolescent Health 61(3): 273-280.

McCall, Leslie, et al. 2016. “What Counts? Evaluating Public Communication in Tenure and Promotion.” Final Report of the ASA Subcommittee on the Evaluation of Social Media and Public Communication in Sociology. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.

Schalet, Amy T. et al. 2014.  "Invited commentary: broadening the evidence for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and education in the United States." 43: 1595-1610.

Schalet, Amy T. 2011. "Beyond Abstinence and Risk: A New Paradigm for Adolescent Sexual Health. Women's Health Issues. 21 (3S); S5-S7.

Schalet, Amy T. 2011.  Not under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Winner: 2013 William J. Good Best Book Award, ASA Family Section; 2012 Distinguished Scholarly Research Award, ASA Children & Youth Section; Carol Mendez Cassell Award for Excellence in Sexuality Education, the Healthy Teen Network;
  • Featured: CNN, Washington Post, Washington Times, Time, Salon, MacLeans Magazine (CA), Financial Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Albuquerque Journal, The Wall Street Journal, the Take Away, BBC, and on Public Radio: Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Minnesota, Southern California, and New England.

Schalet, Amy T. 2010. “Sexual Subjectivity Revisited: The Significance of Relationships in Dutch and American Girls’ Experiences of Sexuality.” Gender & Society 24 (3):  304-329.


Schalet, Amy. 2020. "U.S. Teens Are Having Less Sex - but Stigmatizing Their Sexuality Does More Harm Than Good." NBC THINK. October 6. 

Schalet, Amy. 2016. “Why Boys Need to Have Conversations about Emotional Intimacy in Classrooms.” The Conversation, February 25.

  • -- Repub. in The Goodmen Project, Yes! Magazine, Huffington Post, Society Pages

Schalet, Amy. 2016. “Should Writing for the General Public Count Toward Tenure?” The Conversation. August 19.

Schalet, Amy. 2012. “The New ABCDs of Talking about Sex to Teenagers.” Huffington Post. November 3.

Schalet, Amy. 2011. “The Sleepover Question.” New York Times. July 23, SR9.


Audible Podcasts

July, 2021

To the Best of Our Knowledge

Oct. 16, 2016


January, 2021

Wired Magazine

Oct. 5, 2016

Talking to Teens Podcast

June, 2020


April 28 2016

NPR’s Market Place

July 28, 2020

PBS News Hour

May 27, ‘15

New York Times

February 7, 2019


March 19, ‘15


November 2, 2018

Atlantic Monthly

Dec. 28, 2014

Top of Mind

December 20, 2016

New York Times

Dec 9, 2014