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American Psychological Foundation (APF) Names David Award Winners

Conroy and VanderLaan were chosen as recipeints of the David Award because of their interests in population and human reproductive behavior.

The American Psychological Foundation (APF) named Amy Conroy and Doug P. VanderLaan as the recipients of the 2009 Henry David Research Grant and the 2009 Henry David Travel Grant. Conroy and VanderLaan were chosen because of their interests in population and human reproductive behavior. The APF David Research Grant provides up to $1,500 for support of ongoing research in behavioral aspects of population studies or human reproductive behavior. The APF David International Travel Grant provides up to $1,500 to support travel related to research on human reproductive behavior and population studies or attendance at a international or regional congress.

Amy Conroy has an MPH in Public Health from the University of Colorado, Denver, where she is a PhD candidate in Health and Behavioral Sciences. Conroy's research project is titled Take the Test, Take Control? HIV Testing and Sexual relationship Power in Malawi. She will examine the role of gender and sexual power dynamics in HIV testing in Malawi, a country with high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates. Conroy's research is aimed at contributing to a broader understanding of the interpersonal factors involved in HIV/ AIDS testing and prevention. Malawi presently has a history of AIDS related research in the region. Conroy's interest in human reproduction and health is both local and global. She has worked with two international reproductive health agencies--Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where she conducted pregnancy and birth control consultations for low-income clients in Denver; and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFP), where she traveled to Mongolia to educate rural Mongolians on contraception, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and reproductive health.

Doug VanderLaan is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. His research focuses on testing a number of long-standing evolutionary theories that attempt to account for the existence of male homosexuality. He is conducting a cross-cultural assessment of one such theory – the female fecundity hypothesis – in Canada and Independent Samoa. The theory holds that female relatives of homosexual men demonstrate increased reproductive success, and his research will examine how reproductive and non-conceptive sex interact to influence family and population structure. VanderLaan will use the David grant to travel to Samoa, where he has already conducted one season of field research. He chose the locale because of its high birth rate and because homosexual males, known locally as fa'afafine, are widely accepted in Samoa and provide a large sampling network. Ψ