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Katherine Grasso, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dr. Katherine Grasso received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2015. Within health communication, she focused on health information-seeking behavior. Her research aimed to gain insight into the circumstances that lead people to remain uninformed (actively or passively) about their health. More currently, Dr. Grasso’s research examines how open communication, rather than avoidance, can contribute to more effective and comprehensive sexual education.

At the University of California, Davis, Professor Grasso taught courses in Media Effects, Communication Theory, and Research Methods. Since being at DeSales University, Dr. Grasso has developed the health communication major. Additionally, she has taught a variety of communication courses related to gender, health, media, persuasion, theory, business, and public speaking.

Dr. Grasso’s passion for gender studies also inspired the creation of The Birkenstocks, a women’s and gender studies club, at DeSales in the fall of 2015. She is an active member of the planning committee for the LVAIC Women’s and Gender Studies annual conference. She is also an executive member of the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium.

Selected Publications

Grasso, K. L., & Trumbull, L. (2021). Just Don’t Have Sex, Promise? The Influence of Comprehensive or Abstinence-Only Sexuality Education on Safer Sex Communication and Behavior. American Journal of Sexuality Education.

Ghaznavi, J., Grasso, K. L., & Taylor, L. (2016). Increasingly violent but still sexy: A decade of central female characters in top-grossing Hollywood and Bollywood film promotional material. International Journal of Communication.

Grasso, K. L., & Bell, R. A. (2015). Understanding health information seeking: A test of the risk perception attitude framework. Journal of Health Communication.