Photo by Cori Miller
About Dr. Sprankle
Dr. Eric Sprankle is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Co-Director of the Sexuality Studies program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and an AASECT-certified sex therapist affiliated with the Minnesota Sexual Health Institute. He is also the Director of the Secular Therapy Project, a subsidiary of Recovering from Religion.
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 sexuality, stigma, and secularism, and has published articles on the effects of sexually explicit material, older adult sexuality, and sex worker affirmative therapy.
When not engaged in scholarly pursuits, Dr. Sprankle religiously reads Edgar Allan Poe, watches horror movies, listens to Marilyn Manson, and tries to telepathically communicate with his three tabby cats, Lucy, Mina, and Miss Ives.
Uncrucifying Sex will be a new writing project launching in 2020 focusing on liberating sexuality from Christianity. In the mean time, enjoy some posts from a previous writing project, Scarlet Letters:
Fantasy vs. Reality
After viewing your browser history, are you worried that you unconsciously desire to actually have sex with a nun in clown makeup in the backseat of your mother’s 1983 station wagon? Rest assured, this is a common concern stemming from myths and confusion surrounding sexual fantasies...Read More
A Public Shame
After you tell your close friends about your latest sexual encounter do they look at you like you just slapped a puppy? Do they say they are trying to be supportive, but are actually saying, “Burn the witch” under their breath? You are experiencing distress that many people experience when attempting to feel confident about their sexuality, but are met with misunderstanding and judgment from friends, family, and society...Read More
Feelings of insecurity and poor communication are commonly experienced in significant relationships and can easily lead to sexual dissatisfaction. And because of their high frequency, these scenarios provide opportunities for the Dr. Phils of pop psychology to use their exploitative fingers to write books about how you screwed up, which is why I believe the Dr. Phils of the world are about as helpful as a creationist tour guide in a natural history museum...Read More
All Scarlet Letters articles can be read here.
Satanists' strength of identity, identity concealment, and experiences of stigma in relation to mental health and help seeking. Data collection is currently closed. Study 2 examining Satanists' values and incongruence/congruence with sexuality will start in early 2020.
Sprankle, E., & Bloomquist, K. (2019). Sex workers’ personal and professional lives. Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 34(3), 275-276.
Bloomquist, K., & Sprankle, E. (2019). Sex worker affirmative therapy: Conceptualization and case study. Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 34(3), 392-408.
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.
Gleason, N., & Sprankle, E. (2019). The effects of pornography on sexual minority men’s body image: An experimental study. Psychology and Sexuality, 10(4), 301-315.
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.
Gleason, N., Vencill, J., & Sprankle, E. (2019, November). Do gay men find straight men more attractive? Preliminary analyses and discussion. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Montreal, Quebec.
The Sexual Health Research Team at Minnesota State University, Mankato has a history of exploring various topics within human sexuality, including sex work stigma, the effects of sexually explicit media, older adult sexuality, secular sexuality, and LGBT health.
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.
Dr. Sprankle accepts undergraduate students onto his research team throughout the academic year based on need for assistance. Undergrad research assistant duties can include conducting literature reviews, assisting a graduate student with their thesis, and conducting your own study under the supervision of a grad student. Assignments are allocated based on need of the research team and level of training of the student. Students who are interested are encouraged to contact Dr. Sprankle directly via his MNSU email.
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.
These programs meet the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and are approved for 1 CE credit each. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification.
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.
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.