Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health

Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health— Session 8: Workshop: Gender and Hormonal Contraceptives

January 12, 2023, 10:00 am to 11:30 am

brain illustration

This workshop is part of our virtual "Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health" series, which brings attention to the brain health issues that women+ face and encourage the medical, scientific and commercial communities to address them. In this session, we will hear from two renowned speakers who will discuss pertinent topics related to hormonal contraceptives and assessing the psychological correlation of its' use. Dr. Beltz will dig into assessing the psychological correlations of hormonal contraceptive use in unique women.


10:00-10:05—Welcome Remarks

10:05-10:40—Speaker 1: Dr. Robert-Paul Juster, University of Montreal, Canada


10:45-11:20—Speaker 2: Dr. Adriene Beltz, University of Michigan, USA


Individual Event Cost

General Public: $15

Students: $10

We offer you the option of registering for individual events or signing up for the entire series. Video recordings of our conference sessions will be sent to all registrants following each event. Register for this individual event below. 

Individual Event Registration



Dr. Adriene Beltz

Talk Title: Assessing the Psychological Correlates of Hormonal Contraceptive Use in Unique Women+: A Workshop on Study Design 

Talk Abstract: Surprisingly little is known about the neural and psychological effects of hormonal contraceptives – let alone whether effects similarly apply to all biologically and socially unique girls, women, and people with uteri. There are many reasons for this paucity of knowledge, and several concern research methodology. Thus, this workshop will address key methodological aspects of conducting observational research on hormonal contraceptive effects on human behavior. It will consider study inclusion criteria, between- versus within-person designs, collection of hormone indicators as well as brain and behavioral measures, and data analysis. Emphasis will be placed on the need to match research methods to research questions, and on the ways in which hormonal contraceptive effects might vary – across unique individuals, time, and as qualifiers of other psychological effects.  

Bio: Dr. Adriene Beltz is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. She is a quantitative developmentalist who studies sex hormone influences on the brain and gendered behaviors across the lifespan. She specializes in ovarian hormone links to cognition and psychopathology and uses innovative methods to reveal when women are – and are not – well-represented by averages. Dr. Beltz received her PhD in Psychology, specializing in Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, from Penn State University, and she completed a post-doctoral position at the same university focused on quantitative methodology before joining the University of Michigan faculty in 2016. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Jacobs Foundation, and James S. McDonnell Foundation. She has also received awards from the Association for Psychological Science as well as Divisions 5 (Methods) and 6 (Behavioral Neuroscience) of the American Psychological Association.

robert paul

Dr. Robert-Paul Juster

Talk Title: Hormonal and Contraceptive Considerations for LGBTQIA2S+ Stress Research

Talk Abstract: Psychiatry and neuroscience have a complicated history when it comes to sexual and gender diversity. This is especially true when it comes to understanding neuroendocrine variations among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and two-spirit (LGBTQIA2S+) people. This presentation will focus on my research program on stigma, stress, and strain among LGTQIA2S+ communities. Associations are complexified but ultimately expanded when considering sex hormone and contraceptive use among LGBTQIA2S+ people and the emerging integration of stress biomarkers.

Bio: Dr. Robert-Paul Juster is the Director of the Center on Sex*Gender, Allostasis, and Resilience (CESAR) based at the Research Center of the Montreal Mental Health University Institute. Dr. Juster is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Addiction at the University of Montreal. Dr. Juster also holds a CIHR Sex and Gender Science Chair. His research focuses on stress and resilience using a sex and gender lens. He has dedicated his career to advancing the allostatic load model first developed by the late and great Bruce McEwen.


Jennifer Williams, PhD candidate, McMaster University.


  • Mind the Gap: Hormonal Contraceptives and Brain Health
  • Workshop
  • gender
  • hormonal contraceptives

First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.

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