Gu Li

Gu Li
Assistant Professor of Psychology, NYU Shanghai; Global Network Assistant Professor, NYU
Office Phone
+86 (21) 20596157

Gu Li is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at NYU Shanghai, a Global Network Assistant Professor at NYU, a faculty affiliate in the NYU-ECNU Institute for Social Development at NYU Shanghai, and a Shanghai Eastern Young Scholar. Prior to joining NYU Shanghai, Gu was a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology and in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Gu’s Diversity Science Lab uses surveys, online and offline behavioral and psychophysiological experiments, psychological interventions, and longitudinal data analysis to study the development and mental health of LGBTQ+ people in diverse sociocultural contexts. He is interested in (1) designing psychological and social interventions to address pressing issues facing LGBTQ+ people, such as coming out and coping with stigma, prejudice, and victimization, especially in societies and cultures that uphold heteronormative values and fixed gender roles; (2) examining how sexual orientation unfolds with puberty, paying particular attention to sexual fluidity; and (3) exploring the relations between romantic love and sexual desire in young people. Gu's work has appeared in leading academic journals such as Journal of Adolescent Health, Developmental Psychology, and Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Prior to receiving his PhD degree, Gu joined the editorial board of the leading academic journal in sex research, Archives of Sexual Behavior. He also reviews manuscripts for more than 15 international and domestic academic journals including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and Educational Researcher.

Select Publications

  • Li, G. (in press). Sexuality development in childhood. In D. P. VanderLaan & W. I. Wong (Eds.), Gender and sexuality development: Contemporary theory and research. Springer.
  • Li, G., & Davis, J. T. M. (2020). Sexual experimentation in heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian/gay, and questioning adolescents from ages 11 to 15. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 30(2), 423–439.
  • Li, G., Wu, A., Marshall, S. K., Watson, R. J., Adjei J. K., & Saewyc, E. (2019). Investigating site-level longitudinal effects of population health interventions: Gay-straight alliances and school safety. Social Science & Medicine - Population Health, 7, 100350.
  • Li, G.*, & Wong, I. W.* (2018). Single-sex schooling: Sexual orientation, friendships, and dating. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(4), 1025–1039. (*equal contribution)
  • Russell, S. T., Pollitt, A. M., Li, G., & Grossman, A. H. (2018). Chosen name use is linked to reduced depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior among transgender youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 63(4), 503–505.
  • Li, G., Kung, K. T., & Hines, M. (2017). Childhood gender-typed behavior and adolescent sexual orientation: A longitudinal population-based study. Developmental Psychology, 53(4), 764–777.
  • Li, G., & Hines, M. (2016). In search of emerging same-sex sexuality: Romantic attractions at age 13 years. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(7), 1839–1849.
  • Li, G., Pollitt, A. M., & Russell, S. T. (2016). Depression and sexual orientation during young adulthood: Diversity among sexual minority subgroups and the role of gender nonconformity. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(3), 697–711.



  • PhD, Psychology
    University of Cambridge
  • MS, Family Studies and Human Development
    University of Arizona


Research Interests

  • LGBTQ+ Health
  • Psychological Intervention
  • Development of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Courses Taught

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Empirical Research Practice
  • Social Science Honors Independent Study
  • Statistics for Behavioral & Social Sciences