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About Dr. Sprankle

About Dr. Sprankle
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Dr. Eric Sprankle is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Co-Director of the Sexuality Studies program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Although not currently in practice, he is also a licensed clinical psychologist and an AASECT-certified sex therapist. 


Dr. Sprankle received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Xavier University in 2009, completed a postdoctoral fellowship in sexual health at the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2011, and was awarded tenure in the Department of Psychology at Minnesota State University in 2017.


He currently leads the Sexual Health Research Team at Minnesota State examining the intersections of sexuality, stigma, and Satanism, and has published articles on the effects of sexually explicit material, older adult sexuality, sex worker affirmative therapy, and Satanic sexuality.

When not engaged in scholarly pursuits, Dr. Sprankle religiously reads Edgar Allan Poe, watches horror movies, and tries to telepathically communicate with his three tabby cats.


Scarlet Letters

Uncrucifying Sex
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After an 8-year hiatus, Scarlet Letters returns in 2021 to answer your questions about sexuality and sexual health. Read the posts and feel free to submit your own question.

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Current Research

In addition to continuing research on marginalized sexual identities, Dr. Sprankle recently began a new line of research examining the relationships between Satanism, stigma, mental health, and sexuality. 

Latest Publications

Sprankle, E., Hensel, Z., Jennings, T., & Lyng, T. (2020). Mark of the beast: The relationships between Satanist identity, stigma, and mental health. International Journal for the Study of New Religions, 11(2), 233-251. (.pdf of full text)

Sprankle, E., Danielson, S., Lyng, T., & Severud, M. (2021). Satanic sexuality: Understanding Satanism as a diversity issue for sex and relationship therapists. Sexual & Relationship Therapy. (.pdf of full text)

Bloomquist, K., & Sprankle, E. (2019). Sex worker affirmative therapy: Conceptualization and case study. Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 34(3), 392-408. (.pdf of full text)

Gleason, N., Vencill, J., & Sprankle, E. (2019). Swipe left on the bi guys: Examining attitudes toward dating and being sexual with bisexual individuals. Journal of Bisexuality, 18(4), 516-534.

Latest Presentations

Sprankle, E. (2021, April). Satanism, stigma, and mental health: Psychological research from the Satanic Panic era to the present. Virtual paper presented at the annual World Congress on Moral Panics.

Sprankle, E., Swift, J., Twohy, A., & Shelgren, M. (2019, October). A needs assessment of workers in Minneapolis strip clubs. Paper presented at the annual conference of Sociologists of Minnesota, Mankato, Minnesota. (Learn more about the outcome of this research here).

Sprankle, E., Bloomquist, K., & Khaydarov, F. (2019, June). Sex work and sex trafficking: Misinformation and false dichotomies. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, Philadelphia, PA.

Prospective Students

Dr. Sprankle accepts graduate students onto his team who have been accepted into the clinical psychology master's program at Minnesota State. The master's program is designed to increase research skills and experiences to prepare students to apply to doctoral programs in clinical psychology or related fields. More information about the program's requirements and application process can be found here.

Lectures, Trainings, and Webinars



Through the Minnesota Sexual Health Institute, Dr. Sprankle is a CE provider for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Clicking on the titles below will direct you to the webinar's description, learning objectives, and purchasing options.

A Therapist's Guide to Viagra and Other PDE5 Inhibitors


Sex Work and Sex Trafficking: Misinformation and False Dichotomies

Sex Worker Affirmative Therapy: The Role of Minority Stress in Sex Worker Health

Satanic Sexuality: Understanding Satanism as a Diversity Issue for Sex and Relationship Therapists

These programs meet the requirements for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and are approved for 1 to 2.5 CE credits each. Completion of any of these programs does not ensure or guarantee AASECT Certification. For further information please contact

Lectures and Trainings

Dr. Sprankle has offered lectures and didactic trainings on sexual health topics since 2006. He has spoken on college campuses, at professional organizations' conferences, and for community organizations to a wide variety of audiences including therapists, medical residents and physicians, students and mental health interns, and the general public. Some of the topics include:

  • Conducting a sexual health assessment

  • Diagnosing sexual dysfunctions

  • Older adult sexuality

  • Sex work versus sex trafficking

  • BDSM and unconventional sexual behavior

  • Understanding the realities of "sex and porn addiction"

  • Secular sexuality and overcoming religious sexual shame

To inquire about any of Dr. Sprankle's sexuality trainings and lectures, please send a message on the Contact form.



For all media requests, questions about Dr. Sprankle's research, or inquiries about booking a speaking or training event, please complete the form below with as much detail as possible.

If you have a question to be answered on Scarlet Letters, please complete this form.

You can also follow Dr. Sprankle on Twitter and Instagram​.

Note: Dr. Sprankle is currently not seeing any patients/clients for therapy, and does not use this site to answer personal health questions or provide specific resources/referrals. If you are in need of mental health and/or sex therapy services, please see the AASECT, Psychology Today, or Secular Therapy Project directories of therapists in your area.

Thank you for your message! Dr. Sprankle is not able to respond to all inquiries. If you have not received a response within 2 weeks, you can assume he is unable to fulfill your request.

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