Sandy K. Wurtele, Ph.D.

Headshot of Sandy Wurtele.

Sandy K. Wurtele, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita
Years of Service: 1988-2021

Professional Summary

Dr. Sandy Wurtele is a psychologist and Professor Emerita specializing in the prevention of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Dr. Wurtele is the author of educational and scholarly materials for professionals, parents, and children on preventing CSA. Thoroughly evaluated, her Body Safety Training workbook is available in different teaching formats and languages. Dr. Wurtele has provided training and consultation to a number of national and international organizations and researchers on this topic. She served on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Education Standards Task Force for developing Guidelines for Programs to Reduce Child Victimization and served as the Child Protection Consultant for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington (DE) along with the USA Swimming Safe Sport Committee. Dr. Wurtele served as expert reviewer for Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and for U.S. Centers of Disease Control.

She has conducted over 25 workshops/presentations to professionals in youth-serving organizations, authored or co-authored 90 articles in scholarly journals, 18 chapters in edited books, published 3 books for parents on CSA prevention, 2 books for professionals, and is currently writing a textbook on sex crimes against minors. Dr. Wurtele has also received $250,000 in funding for research on CSA prevention, including a FIRST Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. She is the recipient of the 2009 William Friedrich Memorial Child Sexual Abuse Award, given in recognition of her work in preventing CSA.

Her business, SKW Consulting, conducts forensic evaluations and provides expert testimony on civil cases of CSA occurring in youth-serving organizations.


B.A., Psychology University of NebraskaLincoln
M.A., Clinical Psychology, University of AlabamaTuscaloosa
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology.  Specialty: Child Clinical, University of AlabamaTuscaloosa


Dr. Wurtele has authored over 100 articles and chapters. 

Recent Publication:

Wurtele, S. K. (2021). "They're not monsters!" Changing university students' perceptions of child sex offenders through education and contact. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 1-15.

Publications focused on prevention of childhood sexual abuse - 

Included below are recent publications, along with the ‘What If’ Situations Test (WIST) for use in evaluating children’s body-safety knowledge and skills. Contact Dr. Wurtele for pdfs of these articles.

Wurtele, S. K. (2009). Preventing sexual abuse of children in the 21st century: Preparing for challenges and opportunities. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 18, 1-18.
Wurtele, S. K., Mathews, B., & Kenny, M. C. (2019). Keeping students out of harm's way: Reducing risks of educator sexual misconduct. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 28(2), 160-186.
Simons, D., Wurtele, S. K., & Durham, R. D. (2008). Developmental experiences of child sexual abusers and rapists. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32, 549-560.
Wurtele, S. K., Simons, D., & Moreno, T. (2014). Sexual interest in children among an online sample of men and women: Prevalence and correlates. Sexual Abuse, 26(6), 546-568.
Wurtele, S. K., Simons, D., & Parker, L. J. (2018). Understanding men's self-reported sexual interest in children. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(8), 2255-2264.
Wurtele, S. K. (2021). "They're not monsters!" Changing university students' perceptions of child sex offenders through education and contact. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 1-15.
Wurtele, S. K. (2009). WIST ('What If' Situations Test)The WIST contains six scales designed to assess children's abilities to recognize, resist, and report inappropriate touching. It has been administered to children as young as three years and can be used up to mental age of eight. It is designed to be read to the child participant during an individual interview. Internal and test-retest reliabilities of the six scales met research standards (Cronbach's alphas ranged from .75 to .90; Pearson r's ranged from .60 to .84) supporting the internal consistency and temporal stability of the WIST.

Wikipedia Entry

Sandy K. Wurtele

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sandy Kay Wurtele is an American psychologist.