Dr. Alicia M. Walker


Sociology and Anthropology

Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
Sociology and Anthropology
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897


Dr. Alicia Walker (she/her/hers) is associate professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at Missouri State University. Walker is a microsociologist, whose work focuses on intimate sexual relationships,  sexual identity and behavior, and gender. Specifically, her work looks at the social construction of the sexual self, the ways we make sense of ourselves as sexual beings, the ways we navigate our sexual worlds, and our lived experiences as sexual beings. Walker has particular interest in closeted sexual behaviors and online initiation of sexual relationships. She is credited with creating a sociology of infidelity.

Her work has been discussed in articles published locally, nationally and internationally in publications, such as The New York Times, Fox News, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, The Sun, Vice, The Independent, The Globe and Mail, Medium, The Daily Mail, USA Today, Good Housekeeping, Psychology Today, Marie Claire, Business Insider, The New York Post, The Guardian, The Cut, Logo, Redbook, The Today Show, and CNN, among others.

Her first book, The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women's Infidelity, and her second book, Chasing Masculinity: Men, Validation, and Infidelity both focus on experiences of participation in infidelity. She’s also working on a book on women who self-describe as "highly sexual.”



  • PhD, Sociology, 2015, University of Kentucky
  • MEd, Educational Administration, 2010, Texas State University
  • Post-Bac Certification, Education, 1995, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  • BA, English, 1992, University of Tampa


  • SOC 150 Introduction to Society
  • SOC 152 Social Problems
  • SOC 311 Sociology of Sexuality
  • SOC 315 The Family
  • SOC 318 Sociology of Love/Courtship
  • SOC 337 Sociology of Gender
  • SOC 420 Social Inequalities

Professional experience


  • American Sociological Association
  • Council for Contemporary Families
  • Southern Sociological Society
  • Mid-South Sociological Society
  • Pacific Sociological Association
  • Eastern Sociological Society
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Sex

Research and professional interests

  • Intimate sexual relationships and sexual behavior

  • Gender

  • Sexualities/sexual Identities

Focused specifically on:

  • Closeted sexual behaviors
  • Online initiation of sexual relationships
  • Sociology of infidelity (which she is credited with creating) 

Selected publications:

Selected essays:

Awards and honors

  • Summer Faculty Fellowship, College of Education, Missouri State University, 2015
  • Beers Fellowship, University of Kentucky, 2013

Additional resources

Area of expertise

Sociology Family dynamics and relationships Gender Issues

Media appearances

Why Do Women Cheat? Relationship Experts Explain the 3 Most Common Reasons
Good Housekeeping
Sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker discusses women's infidelity.

If You're Sick Of Zoom, You'll Love These Brilliant Long-Distance Date Ideas
Women's Health
Sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker offers one suggestion.

The ups and downs of dating during COVID-19 pandemic
Sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker addresses online dating during the stay-at-home order.

Nurturing Your Relationship With Your Partner
Sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker talks about the traits of healthy relationships, as well as how to keep your relationship fresh and exciting.

Why Do Women Cheat? Look Past Old Stereotypes About Infidelity for the Answer
Good Housekeeping
Sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker weighs in on why.

Cheating made this lesbian couple’s marriage stronger than ever
New York Post
Sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker explains why it’s more common than we think for people to stray from their spouses and remain happily married.

The "Wonderful Weirdness" of Female Sexuality
Marie Claire
Author Dr. Wednesday Martin cites the research of sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker on why women cheat.

32 Signs Your Marriage Is Built to Last
Sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker explains why sex helps a marriage last.

Why So Many Women Cheat on Their Husbands
The Cut
Writer Kim Brooks highlights the upcoming book on women and infidelity by sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker.

The 'happiness gap': What having kids really does to your marriage
Sociologist Dr. Alicia Walker explains why American parents are not as happy as European parents.