Article

The Use of Self-Pleasure: Masturbation and Body Image Among African American and European American Women

Authors:
Request the full-text directly from the authors on ResearchGate.

Abstract

The current investigation examined the relationship between masturbation and body image among 96 women seeking services at a local family planning clinic in a mid-southern U.S. city. Participants completed a questionnaire that assessed body image and masturbatory practices. Ethnic differences were found with European American women reporting greater masturbation frequencies and higher rates of body dissatisfaction than African American women. Among European American women, there was a positive relationship between women's sexual self-pleasuring and positive body image. For African American participants, body image was not related to masturbation practice or frequency.
Advertisement

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

Request the article directly
from the authors on ResearchGate.

... There has been a spate of research on masturbation (Baker & Bellis, 1993; Bancroft, Herbenick, & Reynolds, 2003; Choi et al., 2000; Lipsith, McCann, & Goldmeier, 2003; Liu, 1997; LoPresto, Sherman, & Sherman, 1985; Oliver & Hyde, 1993; Renaud, Byers, & Pan, 1997; Shulman & Horne, 2003). With the exception of a small group of studies of Western societies (Haavio-Mannila, Kontula, & Rotkirch, 2002; Kontula & Haavio-Mannila, 2002; Laumann , Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994), however, there have been few large-scale or nationally representative studies on masturbation, especially in developing countries. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the prevalence and sources of masturbatory practice in a nationally representative sample from China completed in the year 2000, with analysis of sources focused on 2,828 urban respondents aged 20-59. In this subpopulation, 13% (95% CI, 10-18) of women and 35% (CI, 26-44) of men reported any masturbation in the preceding year. Prevalence for people in their 20s was higher, and closer to US and European levels, especially for men. Particularly for women, masturbation not only compensated for absent partners but also complemented the high sexual interests of a subset of participants. For both women and men, practicing masturbation appeared to be a two-step process. In the first step, events such as sexual contact in childhood, early puberty, and early sex were related to sexualization and the "gateway event" of adolescent masturbation. In the second step, other factors, such as liberal sexual values and sexual knowledge, further increased the current probability of masturbation. Overall, the results suggest that masturbation is readily adopted even at more modest levels of economic and social development, that masturbation is often more than simply compensatory behavior for regular partnered sex, that masturbatory patterns are heavily influenced by early sexualization, and that a complex model is needed to comprehend masturbatory practice, particularly for women.
... 14,40,41 Among women, masturbation in childhood and adolescence has been associated with more satisfying sexual experiences, better body image, and more positive sexual self-esteem. 41 Girls with negative or indifferent views about masturbation are more likely to report negative experiences of their first sexual experience. 42 Early sexual debut is associated with more recent, lifetime, and concurrent sexual partners in men and women. ...
Article
Introduction: Psychological, interpersonal, and sociocultural factors play a significant role in making one vulnerable to developing a sexual concern, in triggering the onset of a sexual difficulty, and in maintaining sexual dysfunction in the long term. Aim: To focus on psychological and interpersonal aspects of sexual functioning in women and men after a critical review of the literature from 2010 to the present. Methods: This report is part 1 of 2 of our collaborative work during the 2015 International Consultation on Sexual Medicine for Committee 2. Main outcome measures: Systematic review of the literature with a focus on publications since 2010. Results: Our work as sexual medicine clinicians is essentially transdisciplinary, which involves not only the collaboration of multidisciplinary professionals but also the integration and application of new knowledge and evaluation and subsequent revision of our practices to ensure the highest level of care provided. There is scant literature on gender non-conforming children and adolescents to clarify specific developmental factors that shape the development of gender identity, orientation, and sexuality. Conversely, studies consistently have demonstrated the interdependence of sexual function between partners, with dysfunction in one partner often contributing to problems in sexual functioning and/or sexual satisfaction for the other. We recommend that clinicians explore attachment styles of patients, childhood experiences (including sexual abuse), onset of sexual activity, personality, cognitive schemas, infertility concerns, and sexual expectations. Assessment of depression, anxiety, stress, substance use and post-traumatic stress (and their medical treatments) should be carried out as part of the initial evaluation. Clinicians should attempt to ascertain whether the anxiety and/or depression is a consequence or a cause of the sexual complaint, and treatment should be administered accordingly. Cognitive distraction is a significant contributor to sexual response problems in men and women and is observed more consistently for genital arousal than for subjective arousal. Assessment of physical and mental illnesses that commonly occur in later life should be included as part of the initial evaluation in middle-aged and older persons presenting with sexual complaints. Menopausal status has an independent effect on reported changes in sex life and difficulties with intercourse. There is strong support for the use of psychological treatment for sexual desire and orgasm difficulties in women (but not in men). Combination therapies should be provided to men, whenever possible. Conclusion: Overall, research strongly supports the routine clinical investigation of psychological factors, partner-related factors, context, and life stressors. A biopsychosocial model to understand how these factors predispose to sexual dysfunction is recommended.
... Where researchers have investigated masturbation, primarily outside the United Kingdom, they have emphasized that masturbation remains the most significant source of orgasmic pleasure for young people (Smith et al., 1996) and becomes an integral component of the sexual repertoire of most adults. Although the promotion of masturbation remains controversial, it remains the safest form of sexual pleasure, as well as having a possible role in the ability to establish mature intimate relationships (Chilman, 1990;Davidson & Moore, 1994;Shulman & Horne, 2003). What is often missing from psychological studies of young people's sexuality is a good understanding of how sexual exploration (other than sexual intercourse) and, particularly, masturbation and orgasmic responsiveness may contribute to perceptions of sexual well-being. ...
Article
Much research into young people's developing sexuality is concerned with risk avoidance and the reduction of negative outcomes. Little research has been conducted into sexual self-exploration and, in particular, masturbation among young people, and this has generally been concerned merely with its prevalence. Little is known about the potential role of masturbation in relation to young people's developing sexuality, especially among young women. This study aimed to explore, using a qualitative approach, how young women reported their experiences of masturbation and whether and how these related to other aspects of their sexual activity. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts was employed to identify the range of reported experiences across participants, as well as the relations between various aspects of sexual development and experiences within participants. The findings revealed a broad continuum of views and opinions on female masturbation, which had strong links with parent and partner communication and the young women's beliefs and values concerning their sexual selves. The article concludes by drawing attention to the apparent relation between positive early childhood communication, young women's positive views of their sexual self, and their subsequent sexual activity.
... Beyond acting as a substitute for riskier sex acts, masturbation may have other positive impacts on healthy sexual development. For example, masturbation may promote a positive body image for some women (Shulman & Horne, 2003). Conversely, masturbation guilt is associated with negative contraceptive attitudes and may inhibit a woman's comfort in dealing with her own genitals (Mosher & Vonderheide, 1985). ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite efforts to identify masturbation as a strategy to improve sexual health, promote relational intimacy, and reduce unwanted pregnancy, STIs, and HIV transmission, masturbation as a context for healthy sexual development has been met with silence or trepidation in the scientific and educational communities. Relegated to the realm of commercial media, rather than rational discourse in families, schools, and the general public, young people receive mixed messages about this non-reproductive sexual behavior. In order to explore how young adults have learned about masturbation and currently perceive masturbation, we conducted a grounded theory study of 72 college students (56 females; 16 males) enrolled in a human sexuality class. Findings revealed that a young adult's perceptions of and feelings toward masturbation were the result of a developmental process that included: (1) learning about the act of masturbation and how to do it, (2) learning and internalizing the social contradiction of stigma and taboo surrounding this pleasurable act, and (3) coming to terms with this tension between stigma and pleasure. Although nearly all participants learned about masturbation through the media and peers (not parents or teachers), gender was salient in coming to terms with the contradiction of stigma and pleasure. Most of the women reported either still struggling with the contradiction or accepting it as normal. Most of the men recognized the beneficial aspects for healthy sexual development that result from masturbation. Both male and female participants identified differential sexual scripts as contributing to the double standard.
... Studies of young women have found relationships between negative body image and engagement in behaviors that increase risk of sexually transmitted infections, HIV transmission, or unintended pregnancy: sexual activity with casual partners, not using condoms or contraceptives, or intoxication during sexual activity (Eisenberg, Neumark-Sztainer, & Lust, 2005;Gillen, Lefkowitz, & Shearer, 2006;Neumark-Sztainer, Story, Dixon, & Murray, 1998). Body image has also been explored with regard to the affective, attitudinal, and emotional components of women's sexuality: women who feel more negatively about their bodies present lower levels of sexual desire and arousability (Koch, Mansfield, Thurau, & Carey, 2005;Seal, Bradford, & Meston, 2009), report less frequent sexual initiation or sexual avoidance (Ackard, Kearney-Cooke, & Peterson, 2000;Faith & Schare, 1993;Reissing, Laliberte, & Davis, 2005), and experience decreased plea-sure, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction (Sanchez & Kiefer, 2007;Shulman & Horne, 2003;Weaver & Byers, 2006;Yamamiya, Cash, & Thompson, 2006). ...
Article
Objectification theory posits internalization of an observer's gaze may negatively impact women's feelings about their bodies, which may subsequently affect their sexual function. Subjective body image and body size (i.e., body mass index [BMI]) have mixed relationships to women's sexuality, but assessment of positive body image as a sign of resistance to objectification has not been researched. This study explored relations between body appreciation and sexual function in women and assessed whether body size impacted this relationship. Cross-sectional data were collected online from 247 women, ages 18 to 58. Body appreciation scores were modestly negatively correlated with BMI, while BMI was not related to sexual function scores. After controlling for sexual orientation, partner status, and age, body appreciation predicted the arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction aspects of sexual function. Practitioners' encouragement of body appreciation may improve sexual function in a way that encouraging a reduction in body size may not.
... In addition, self-rated attractiveness was found to be positively correlated with several sexual behaviors (i.e., the number of lifetime intercourse partners, age at first intercourse , and women the number of non-intercourse sexual partners they had in the past three years; Weeden & Sabini, 2007). With respect to solo sex, there was a positive relationship between body satisfaction and masturbation frequency in European American women (Shulman & Horne, 2003). Other studies have reported that adolescent girls without coital experience were significantly more satisfied with their bodies, compared to girls who had coital experience. ...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge in the research fields of body image and sexuality has significantly increased in the last decade. In this review, data from 57 studies were compiled for a review of empirical evidence regarding the association between sexuality and body image among healthy women. The overall conclusion is that body image issues can affect all domains of sexual functioning. Cognitions and self-consciousness seem to be key factors in understanding the complex relationships between women's body image and sexuality. Body evaluations and cognitions not only interfere with sexual responses and experiences during sexual activity, but also with sexual behavior, sexual avoidance, and risky sexual behavior.
... For example, several researchers have demonstrated that greater dissatisfaction with sexual performance, sexual encounters, and the body's sexual parts is associated with more eating disorder symptomatology in samples of American women (Ackard et al. 2000;Cash 2002;Raciti and Hendrick 1992;Wiederman et al. 1996). Moreover, a positive relationship has been demonstrated between body satisfaction and the frequency of masturbation, at least among European American women, suggesting that more positive feelings about the body may be linked with more comfort with their sexual selves (Ellison 2000;Shulman and Horne 2003). ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study extended Objectification Theory (Fredrickson and Roberts, Psychol Women Q 21:173–206, 1997) to test the role of sexual self-esteem in models of disordered eating. Measures of self-objectification, sexual well-being, and disordered eating were completed by American (N = 104) and British (N = 111) college women. In Study 1, higher self-objectification was associated with lower sexual self-esteem, which, in turn, mediated the relationship between self-objectification and disordered eating in American women. In Study 2, path analyses indicated that self-objectification led to sexual self-esteem and body shame, which led to disordered eating in British women. This pattern of results was replicated, albeit weaker, when sexual self-competence replaced sexual self-esteem in the model. Discussion considers the significance of self-objectification and sexual self-esteem for women’s well-being.
... That is, they have focused on the evaluative component of body image, body satisfaction. For example, researchers have found that individuals with high body satisfaction have more frequent sexual experiences, engage in a wider range of sexual activities, feel more sexually desirable, and report fewer sexual problems than those with low body satisfaction (Anderson & LeGrand, 1991;Faith & Schare, 1993;Holmes, Chamberlin, & Young, 1994;Shulman & Horne, 2003). Similarly, Wiederman (2000) found that, for women, greater levels of body image self-consciousness during sexual intimacy were associated with lower sexual selfesteem and assertiveness, greater sexual anxiety and avoidance, and more restricted heterosexual experience. ...
Article
Problems related to negative body image are very common among young women. In this study, we examined the relationship between women's body image and their sexual functioning over and above the effects of physical exercise and body mass index (BMI) in a sample of 214 university women. Low situational body image dysphoria and low body dissatisfaction were associated with high sexual assertiveness and sexual esteem, low sexual anxiety, and fewer sexual problems. Positive body image was significantly associated with better sexual functioning, even after controlling for BMI and exercise. Although related to body image, BMI and exercise did not predict sexual functioning. These results were interpreted as indicating that a woman's subjective body image is significantly related to her sexual functioning beyond the effects of actual body size and level of physical exercise.
... Drummond While body image satisfaction can be related to high self-esteem and a general sense of social and psychological well-being (e.g., Thompson et al., 1999), body image dissatisfaction can be clinically problematic. Indeed, body image dissatisfaction is associated with poor self-esteem (Ackard, Kerney-Cooke and Peterson, 2000;Olivardia, et al., 2004); exercise addiction (McDonald and Thompson, 1992;Cockerill, 1996); extreme dieting (Brumberg, 2000;Gordon, 2000;Thompson et al., 1999); sexual disturbances (Ackard, Kerney-Cooke and Peterson, 2000;Shulman and Horne, 2003); social isolation (Atkins, 1998); personality disorder (Davis, Karvinen and McCreary, 2005), suicidality (Brausch and Muehlenkamp, 2007); and is a criterion for diagnosis with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa (APA, 2000). Thus, body image dissatisfaction poses a substantial challenge to public health. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown gay men often express body image dissatisfaction, desiring both a thin, yet muscular body. However, the prior research record on gay men's bodies has considered gay men to be a homogenous group with no interacting social identities beyond homosexuality. Stemming from a social identity theory standpoint, the present study engaged in phenomenological interviews with three openly gay tennis players to examine body perceptions in that population. Themes expressed included descriptions of the natural male body, the body beautiful in the gay community, and the potential for gay men in sport. Themes are connected to social identity and hegemony theory, and implications for future research are discussed.
... While there have been only a handful of explanatory studies about how women use sex toys, or what potential benefits they offer to partnered sexual dynamics (Herbenick et al. 2009a(Herbenick et al. , 2010Richters et al. 2006), research has found masturbation (with or without sex toys) to be positive and sexually affirming, noting that masturbation can improve women's self-awareness, body image, selfesteem, and overall sexual pleasure (Coleman 2002;Herbenick et al. 2009a;Hurlbert and Whittaker 1991;McFadden 2011;Shulman and Horne 2003). In the most widespread study of women's vibrator use to date (Herbenick et al. 2009a), researchers found that 52.5 % of women used vibrators, with more women stimulating the clitoris (83.8 %) than penetrating their vaginas (64 %). ...
Article
Full-text available
While previous studies have addressed symbolic implications of lesbian dildo usage and quantitative findings about women’s vibrator use, little research has assessed women’s subjective feelings about using sex toys. This study draws upon qualitative interviews with twenty women from diverse ages and backgrounds to illuminate six themes in women’s narratives about sex toys: (1) emphasis on non-penetrative use of phallic sex toys; (2) embarrassment about disclosing use to partner(s); (3) personifying vibrators and dildos as male; (4) coercion and lack of power when using sex toys; (5) embracing sex toys as campy, fun, and subversive; and (6) resistance to sex toys as impersonal or artificial. Emerging patterns revealed that queer women more often constructed sex toys as subversive, fun, and free of shame while heterosexual women more often believed most women self-penetrate with sex toys, that sex toys threatened male partners, and they described more coercion involving sex toys. This article explores implications for sexual identity and sex toys, along with women’s negotiation of the “masculine” presence of sex toys in their narratives about using sex toys.
... A masturbação não envolve quaisquer riscos de gravidez ou infeções sexualmente transmissíveis e pode ter benefícios para a saúde sexual e emocional, tendo sido associada a experiências sexuais positivas na idade adulta quando praticada na infância e adolescência 8 , assim como a uma autoimagem positiva 9 . No que diz respeito à prática da masturbação entre adolescentes e jovens adultos, verifica--se que é quase universal entre homens, sendo a idade do primeiro episódio aos 13 anos para 53% dos rapazes 10 , sendo também muito comum entre os adolescentes que têm um relacionamento significativo 11 . ...
Article
Introduction Male masturbation has been seen as taboo behavior, and there is a lack of systematic research in Portugal regarding this topic. Purpose The purpose of this research was to evaluate the masturbatory practices of a group of young men in Portugal, as well as to compare differences in these practices between particular groups (age, onset of sexual activity or sexual orientation). Materials and methods A sample of 2020 young men (mean age = 20.60, standard deviation [SD] = 2.73) who completed a sociodemographic questionnaire and a questionnaire of masturbatory practices participated, and these measurements were disseminated on the internet. Results The vast majority of men had already started their sexual life (81.3%) and identified themselves as heterosexual (91.6%). The results indicate that on average, men masturbated 3.69 times per week (SD = 3.05), whereas only 10.9% said that they never masturbated. Significant differences (F = 2.743, p = 0.047) were found between sexual orientations; gay men masturbated more often. The age of the first time they masturbated was 12.95 years (SD = 2.01, ranging from 5 to 18 years). Most men (35.4%) said that they masturbated when aroused by pornography and 60.4% said they felt like masturbating before sleeping. It was found that the majority of men said they do not practice mutual masturbation touching their partner (61.7%), and 59.2% of men claimed that they did touch their partner. Conclusions Professionals should recognize that young men masturbate broadly and should discuss masturbation as an integrative activity of human and sexual development.
... la méta-analyse de [19]). Les adolescents et les jeunes adultes ayant une estime de soi corporelle élevée ont un meilleur fonctionnement et ont une gamme plus diversifiée d'activités sexuelles [20][21][22][23]. En revanche ceux ayant une estime de soi corporelle faible rapportent moins d'expériences sexuelles [23][24][25] et une faible satisfaction sexuelle [20,22,26]. ...
... To the best of our knowledge, no study has investigated the relationship between body satisfaction and solitary sexual desire. However, Shulman and Horne (2003) explored the relation between masturbation and body image. They found that a negative body image was associated with low masturbation frequency among both young women and adult women. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored the link between body image and desire to engage in sexual activity (dyadic and solitary desire) in adult women living in a long-term couple relationship. Moreover, it considered two psychological factors that may underlie such a link: the occurrence of body-related distracting thoughts during sexual activity and encoding style (i.e., the tendency to rely on preexisting internal schemata versus external information at encoding). A total of 53 women (29 to 47 years old) in heterosexual relationships completed questionnaires assessing sexual desire (dyadic, solitary), body image, body-related distracting thoughts during sexual activity, and encoding style. Results showed that poor body image was associated with low dyadic and solitary sexual desire. Body-related distracting thoughts during sexual activity mediated the link between body image and solitary (but not dyadic) sexual desire. Finally, the mediation of body-related distracting thoughts between body image and solitary sexual desire was moderated by encoding style. A negative body image promoted the occurrence of body-related distracting thoughts during sexual activity, especially in internal encoders. Our study highlights the importance of body image, distracting thoughts, and encoding style in women's solitary sexuality and suggests possible factors that may reduce the impact of those body-related factors in dyadic sexual desire.
... la méta-analyse de [19]). Les adolescents et les jeunes adultes ayant une estime de soi corporelle élevée ont un meilleur fonctionnement et ont une gamme plus diversifiée d'activités sexuelles [20][21][22][23]. En revanche ceux ayant une estime de soi corporelle faible rapportent moins d'expériences sexuelles [23][24][25] et une faible satisfaction sexuelle [20,22,26]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the links between pubertal maturation, physical self-esteem and sexuality in adolescence, differentiating between boys and girls. Method: The sample was comprised of 312 French secondary school children (seventh and ninth grades); 52.6 % (n=164) of whom were girls. Participants answered three self-evaluation questionnaires: the scale of sexuality (interests, emotions, relationships: IERS) in prime adolescence (12 to 15 years); (b) the self-administered rating scale for pubertal development and (c) the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ). Results: Pubertal maturation was associated with higher scores on "Flirting with the aim of having sexual relations" and "Going out with someone", and a drop in overall and physical self-esteem, mainly in socially valued domains, namely "Body fat" for girls, and "Strength" and "Health" for boys. Overall physical self-esteem was associated with "Going out with someone" and "Flirting with the aim of having sexual relations" in boys. Discussion: Physical changes at puberty induce two distinct trends in adolescents: sexual exploration and discovery (genitalized body), and self-depreciation (social body).
... For example, studies that focus on accounting ask questions regarding how many women masturbate, how frequently they masturbate, what methods they use, and so on (Gerressu, Mercer, Graham, Wellings, & Johnson, 2008;Janus & Janus, 1993;Kinsey et al., 1953). On the other hand, some research has focused on psychological outcomes such as self-esteem, body image, and sexual function (Herbenick et al., 2009;Hurlbert & Whittaker, 1991;Shulman & Horne, 2003;Wiederman & Pryor, 1997). We know that women who masturbate tend to have higher self-esteem (Hurlbert & Whittaker, 1991;Smith et al., 1996) and a more positive body image (Shulman & Horne, 2003;Wiederman & Pryor, 1997). ...
Article
Full-text available
With the present study, I explore the function, meaning, and empowerment potential of masturbation for 765 American women. The sample was somewhat diverse, but primarily young (79% under 30), White (75%), educated (85% with at least a bachelor's degree), and heterosexual (67%). Participants completed an online anonymous survey that included endorsement of various attitudes toward masturbation, reasons for masturbating, and emotions following masturbation. Two split-half exploratory factor analyses (followed by confirmatory factor analyses) indicated that women's reasons for masturbating clustered into five main reasons: (a) sexual pleasure, (b) to learn about or better understand their bodies, (c) as a release, (d) to substitute for partner sex, and (e) general sexual dissatisfaction. Women's feelings regarding their masturbation fell into three clusters: (a) shame, (b) sexual empowerment, and (c) fear that one is acting selfishly. Most women in my study did not feel ashamed about masturbating; instead, many women felt sexually empowered. A hierarchical multiple regression demonstrated that women were more likely to feel sexually empowered by the fact that they masturbate if they reported being more sexually efficacious, having higher genital self-image, and masturbating for sexual pleasure or to learn more about their bodies. Results lend support to the feminist theory that when women are able to focus on their own sexual pleasure or learning, without the concerns of pregnancy or pleasing a partner, they may feel sexually empowered.
... la méta-analyse de [19] ). Les adolescents et les jeunes adultes ayant une estime de soi corporelle élevée ont un meilleur fonctionnement et ont une gamme plus diversifiée d'activités sexuelles [20][21][22][23]. En revanche ceux ayant une estime de soi corporelle faible rapportent moins d'expériences sexuelles [23][24][25]et une faible satisfaction sexuelle [20,22,26]. ...
... Hence, most of the research to date has indicated a relationship between women's physical self-perception and general sexual experience (age at first intercourse, level and type of sexual activity, sexual satisfaction) and highlighted that lower physical self-evaluation is associated with less sexual experience (Gillen, Lefkowitz, & Shearer, 2006;La Rocque & Cioe, 2011), less sexual fulfillment (Quinn-Nilas, Benson, Milhausen, Buchholz, & Goncalves, 2016;Satinsky, Reece, Dennis, Sanders, & Bardzell, 2012), and being less comfortable with one's sexuality (Erbil, 2013). In contrast, researchers have found that individuals with higher physical self-evaluation have fewer sexual problems, engage in a wider range of sexual activities (Ackard, Kearney-Cooke, & Peterson, 2000;Shulman & Horne, 2003), and report greater sexual satisfaction (Pujols, Meston, & Seal, 2010;van den Brink, Smeets, Hessen, Talens, & Woertman, 2013;Weaver & Byers, 2006). For risky sexual behaviors (e.g., early age at first intercourse, number of partners, inconsistency of condom use, and nonuse of other birth control methods), lower physical self-evaluation appears to be associated, especially for women, with sexual activity within uncommitted relationships, less frequent use of condoms (Blashill & Safren, 2015;Gillen et al., 2006;Wild, Flisher, Bhana, & Lombard, 2004;Woertman & van den Brink, 2012), and more one-night stands for young women (Crosby et al., 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual behavior is a normative part of the transition to adulthood, with an intensification of the exploration of the links between self-esteem, sexuality, and physical self-perception. This study examined the relationships between sexual risk–safety behaviors and overall physical self-concept, as well as its subdimensions such as sports ability, body fat, or physical appearance. In total, 652 sexually active undergraduate students completed self-report questionnaires about their physical self-concept and sexual behaviors. A clustering analysis described three patterns of sexual risk–safety behaviors for women and men: “birth control in a relationship,” “condom users,” and “risk-takers.” The male sexual risk-takers reported lower physical self-concept scores related to physical competence and masculinity subdomains (sports, endurance) than the two other groups. The female sexual risk-takers expressed significantly higher physical dissatisfaction in social and femininity subdomains (appearance, strength) than the others. A lack of perceived physical coordination was strongly associated with sexual risk-taking for both men and women. These findings indicate that specific subdomains of physical self-concept may be linked to safer or risky sexual behaviors in a sample of young adults.
... Though PVI's exact relation to these beneficial states is not yet conclusive, some evidence suggests that non-PVI sexual behaviors, such as masturbation, are not associated with aspects of better mental and physical health (Brody, 2010). Nevertheless, given other research that has found positive associations between masturbation and beneficial factors (Hurlbert & Whittaker, 1991;Levin,2007;Shulman & Horne, 2003), it is possible that both PVI and masturbation might confer beneficial effects on memory function. ...
Article
Previous studies have identified a number of factors that contribute to improved cognitive function, and to memory function specifically, in cognitively normal individuals. One such factor, frequency of penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI), has been reported in a number of animal studies to be advantageous to memory for previously presented objects by increasing neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. However, studies investigating the potential benefits of frequent PVI on memory function in young women are to the best of our knowledge absent from the literature. The current study thus investigated whether the self-reported frequency of sexual intercourse was related to memory function in healthy female college students. To determine whether variation in PVI would be associated with memory performance, we asked 78 heterosexual women aged 18-29 years to complete a computerized memory paradigm consisting of abstract words and neutral faces. Results showed that frequency of PVI was positively associated with memory scores for abstract words, but not faces. Because memory for words depends to a large extent on the hippocampus, whereas memory for faces may rely to a greater extent on surrounding extra-hippocampal structures, our results appear to be specific for memory believed to rely on hippocampal function. This may suggest that neurogenesis in the hippocampus is higher in those women with a higher frequency of PVI, in line with previous animal research. Taken together, these results suggest that PVI may indeed have beneficial effects on memory function in healthy young women.
... Where researchers have investigated masturbation, primarily outside the United Kingdom, they have emphasized that masturbation remains the most significant source of orgasmic pleasure for young people (Smith et al., 1996) and becomes an integral component of the sexual repertoire of most adults. Although the promotion of masturbation remains controversial, it remains the safest form of sexual pleasure, as well as having a possible role in the ability to establish mature intimate relationships (Chilman, 1990;Davidson & Moore, 1994;Shulman & Horne, 2003). What is often missing from psychological studies of young people's sexuality is a good understanding of how sexual exploration (other than sexual intercourse) and, particularly, masturbation and orgasmic responsiveness may contribute to perceptions of sexual well-being. ...
Article
Much research into young people's developing sexuality is concerned with risk avoidance and the reduction of negative outcomes. Little research has been conducted into sexual self-exploration and, in particular, masturbation among young people, and this has generally been concerned merely with its prevalence. Little is known about the potential role of masturbation in relation to young people's developing sexuality, especially among young women. This study aimed to explore, using a qualitative approach, how young women reported their experiences of masturbation and whether and how these related to other aspects of their sexual activity. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts was employed to identify the range of reported experiences across participants, as well as the relations between various aspects of sexual development and experiences within participants. The findings revealed a broad continuum of views and opinions on female masturbation, which had strong links with parent and partner communication and the young women's beliefs and values concerning their sexual selves. The article concludes by drawing attention to the apparent relation between positive early childhood communication, young women's positive views of their sexual self, and their subsequent sexual activity
... For women, masturbation has been linked to body satisfaction by suggesting that it may be a way to explore the body and increase comfort, thus giving women a possibility to learn what is sexually pleasurable (Bowman, 2013;Coleman, 2003). For example, Shulman and Horne (2003) found an association between higher masturbation frequency and body satisfaction in European American but not African American women. There is still a lack of research on the association between masturbation frequency and body satisfaction in men. ...
Article
The aim of the current study was to explore whether developmental trajectories of body satisfaction from adolescence to young adulthood predicted measures of sexual satisfaction in young adulthood, even when controlling for important covariates such as gender, weight development, relationship status, mental health, and frequency of sexual intercourse and masturbation. Data were collected from a population-based prospective cohort of Norwegian adolescents (n = 2,587) over a period of 13 years in four waves (1992, 1994, 1999, and 2005; mean age = 14.9 in 1992, 57.3% women). Latent growth curves were estimated for body satisfaction and body mass index (BMI). Men reported higher sexual satisfaction, sexual activity, baseline body satisfaction, and BMI than women. The developmental trajectories revealed a slight increase in body satisfaction and BMI from adolescence to young adulthood in both genders. Moreover, structural equation models showed that baseline body satisfaction in both genders predicted sexual satisfaction as a young adult, independent of relationship status and frequency of sexual activity. Neither the development of BMI nor of body satisfaction predicted sexual satisfaction. The results elucidate the vital role of body satisfaction in sexual satisfaction in adults and the importance of addressing body dissatisfaction in childhood.
... Third, it was hypothesized that women who performed at least one vaginal and/or clitoral masturbation over the past month should represent higher self-image in comparison with participants not performing masturbation. The rationale for this specific hypothesis to show known-group validity was proven by Shulman and Horne [16]. Last, weak to moderate correlation strength was expected between FGSIS with FSFI and FSDS-R due to different constructs and aspects. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction and hypothesisWomen’s perceived satisfaction from their own genital appearance is linked to genital image and sexual esteem. A comprehensive and easy to use scale to measure self-image was scarce in the literature. It was aimed in the present study to complement cross-culturally adapted and validated into Turkish version of the Female Genital Self-Image Scale (FGSIS) and to assess its psychometric properties. Methods After cross-cultural adaptation, the Turkish version of the FGSI, Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised (FSDS-R), and Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) were administered to 461 female participants. Content/face validity, exploratory, and confirmatory factor analysis, internal consistency, and reliability were appropriately assessed. Predefined and specific hypotheses were formulated for construct validity. ResultsOur findings indicated excellent content/face validity, sufficient internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha 0.818), and test–retest reliability [intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) 0.951]. Construct validity was demonstrated by proving the hypothesis that participants who have performed at least one vaginal/clitoral masturbation for the last month reported significantly higher FGSIS scores compared with those who abstained (Z −6.37, p < 0.001). Factor analyses formed one factor structure. In the proposed two-factor construct, all seven items demonstrated good to high correlations with their subdomains and lower correlations with the other domain, indicating sufficient convergent validity. Conclusions The FGSIS was successfully validated for use in the Turkish population. The scale exhibited strong psychometric properties to assess perceived female genital image. It might be reliably used in genital cosmetic surgeries and in a variety of gynecologic conditions.
... Research is sparse, and findings are mixed. Some research suggests that masturbation can promote positive body image (Shulman & Horne, 2003) and self-esteem (Hurlbert & Whittaker, 1991) and serves to enhance sexual satisfaction and health (Coleman, 2003), whereas other research suggests that masturbation is linked with risky sexual activity (Gerressu, Mercer, Graham, Wellings, & Johnson, 2008;Pinkerton et al., 2003) and feelings of guilt (Mosher & Vonderheide, 1985). Masturbation is a common sexual behavior that warrants further study; findings from the National Survey of Sexual Health estimate that among adults (18 to 70ϩ), 80.1% to 94.3% of men and 58.3% to 84.6% of women masturbated at least once (Herbenick et al., 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Sex is rarely discussed in theories of well-being and rarely empirically examined using methods other than cross-sectional surveys. In the present study, a daily diary approach was used (for 21 days with 152 adults) to explore the relationship between the presence and quality of sexual episodes and well-being (positive affect, negative affect, meaning in life). Time-lagged analyses demonstrated that sexual activity on 1 day was related to greater well-being the next. As for the quality of episodes, higher reported sexual pleasure and intimacy predicted greater positive affect and lower negative affect the following day. When the reverse direction was tested, well-being did not predict next-day sexual activity, pleasure, or intimacy. These results suggest a unidirectional relationship in which the presence and quality of sexual activity lead to gains in well-being the following day. Contextual moderators (gender, relationship status, relationship closeness, and relationship length) allowed for tests of conditions altering the link between sexuality and well-being. Relationship closeness was the most robust moderator in predicting greater levels of meaning in life and positive affect following sexual episodes. These data provide evidence to support the continual consideration of sex in empirical work and theoretical models of elements that comprise healthy relationships and a good life.
... 14,40,41 Among women, masturbation in childhood and adolescence has been associated with more satisfying sexual experiences, better body image, and more positive sexual self-esteem. 41 Girls with negative or indifferent views about masturbation are more likely to report negative experiences of their first sexual experience. 42 Early sexual debut is associated with more recent, lifetime, and concurrent sexual partners in men and women. ...
Chapter
To highlight the salient psychological and interpersonal issues contributing to sexual health and dysfunction; to offer a four-tiered paradigm for understanding the evolution and maintenance of sexual symptoms; and to offer recommendations for clinical management and research.<br /
... Hence, most of the research to date has indicated a relationship between women's physical self-perception and general sexual experience (age at first intercourse, level and type of sexual activity, sexual satisfaction) and highlighted that lower physical self-evaluation is associated with less sexual experience (Gillen, Lefkowitz, & Shearer, 2006;La Rocque & Cioe, 2011), less sexual fulfillment (Quinn-Nilas, Benson, Milhausen, Buchholz, & Goncalves, 2016;Satinsky, Reece, Dennis, Sanders, & Bardzell, 2012), and being less comfortable with one's sexuality (Erbil, 2013). In contrast, researchers have found that individuals with higher physical self-evaluation have fewer sexual problems, engage in a wider range of sexual activities (Ackard, Kearney-Cooke, & Peterson, 2000;Shulman & Horne, 2003), and report greater sexual satisfaction (Pujols, Meston, & Seal, 2010;van den Brink, Smeets, Hessen, Talens, & Woertman, 2013;Weaver & Byers, 2006). For risky sexual behaviors (e.g., early age at first intercourse, number of partners, inconsistency of condom use, and nonuse of other birth control methods), lower physical self-evaluation appears to be associated, especially for women, with sexual activity within uncommitted relationships, less frequent use of condoms (Blashill & Safren, 2015;Gillen et al., 2006;Wild, Flisher, Bhana, & Lombard, 2004;Woertman & van den Brink, 2012), and more one-night stands for young women (Crosby et al., 2002). ...
Article
This study estimated a path model of women's forceful sexual fantasies. Constructs examined were childhood sexual abuse, feminist beliefs, sexual guilt, erotophilia, and sexual experience. The study clarifies how these factors mediate one another in relationship to forceful sexual fantasies, and is first to examine the effects of feminist beliefs on forceful sexual fantasy. Adult women (N = 261) participated by completing an online survey. A path from sex guilt to forceful sexual fantasy, mediated by erotophilia, was found, wherein low levels of sex guilt and high levels of erotophilia were found to predict forceful sexual fantasy. A direct path between childhood sexual abuse and forceful sexual fantasy was also found. The resulting model is discussed in relation to previously-proposed theories on the role of force in women's sexual fantasies.
Article
Using data from the nationally representative National Health and Social Life Survey, this study queried the correlates of masturbation in the United States in 1992. Among those aged 18-60, 38% (CI, 35-41) of women and 61% (CI, 57-65) of men reported any masturbation over the preceding year. The system of factors underlying masturbation was similar for both genders, consistent with a convergence in gender patterns of sexual expression in the United States. Among both women and men, masturbation responded to a stable sexualized personality pattern, catalyzed by early-life factors and manifested in current sexual traits. Strikingly, the masturbation-partnered sex linkage, often conceptualized either as compensating for unsatisfying sex or complementing a satisfactory sex life, appeared to be bimodal for both genders. For some, masturbation complemented an active and pleasurable sex life, while among others, it compensated for a lack of partnered sex or satisfaction in sex.
To assess masturbation prevalence, frequency, and associations with partnered sexual behaviors. Cross-sectional survey. The United States of America. Nationally representative samples of adolescents aged 14 to 17 years. Solo masturbation, partnered sexual behaviors, and condom use. Across age groups, more males (73.8%) reported masturbation than females (48.1%). Among males, masturbation occurrence increased with age: at age 14 years, 62.6% of males reported at least 1 prior occurrence, whereas 80% of 17-year-old males reported ever having masturbated. Recent masturbation also increased with age in males: 67.6% of 17-year-olds reported masturbation in the past month, compared with 42.9% of 14-year-olds. In females, prior masturbation increased with age (58% at age 17 years compared with 43.3% at age 14 years), but recent masturbation did not. Masturbation was associated with numerous partnered sexual behaviors in both males and females. In males, masturbation was associated with condom use, but in females it was not. Sexual development is a dynamic process during adolescence, and masturbation is an enduring component of sexuality. Fundamental differences appear to exist between male and female sexual expression. Health care providers should recognize that many teens masturbate and discuss masturbation with patients because masturbation is integral to normal sexual development.
Article
Sexual satisfaction is an important component of sexuality, yet rarely discussed in sexuality education. In an effort to better understand young adult women's experiences and thoughts about sexual pleasure and satisfaction, we conducted interviews with heterosexual young women (N = 30, ages 18–25) attending college, asking their recommendations on how to improve women's sexual satisfaction. Two coders utilized grounded theory-based thematic analysis, which revealed three dominant themes: communication with sexual partners, sexual self-awareness and acceptance, and sources of information and education. All three themes fit broadly under women's sexual agency and societal acceptance of women's sexuality. Themes are discussed in relation to their applicability to sexuality education.
Article
The present study was an effort to study body image, sexual satisfaction, and marital adjustment in middle-aged married women. Three hundred and thirty middle-aged women were selected out of the women attending consultation centers in Gorgan, Iran, and they were asked to complete Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), the Body Self-image Questionnaire, and the Persian language modified version of SQOL. Data analyses were conducted via descriptive statistics, t tests, one-way analysis of variance, Pearson’s correlation coefficients, and stepwise multiple regression. The results revealed that sexual satisfaction, body image, and marital adjustment were significantly different in terms of demographic (i.e., age, educational level, duration of marriage, living arrangement, occupation, and monthly income) and health factors (i.e., disease, exercise, frequency of sexual intercourse with spouse, and sleeping problem) excluding duration of marriage and sleeping problem for marital adjustment. It was also shown that sexual satisfaction, body image, and marital adjustment were positively and significantly correlated. Stepwise multiple regression analysis results also indicated the influencing factors on each of the variables. © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Article
Research examining the association between body image and sexual risk-taking has been mostly limited to clinical and/or White female samples. It is unclear whether body image plays a role in sexual risk-taking among African American early adolescent females. Moreover, research has neglected to consider body image within a cultural and ethnic framework. A positive sense of Afrocentric appearance may influence, either positively or negatively, sexual attitudes and behaviors among African American early adolescent girls. The purpose of this study, conducted with 156 urban African American early adolescent females, was to examine the relationships among body image, Afrocentric appearance, and sexual refusal self-efficacy. Results found no significant association between body image and sexual refusal self-efficacy. However, structural equation modeling found that a positive sense of Afrocentric appearance significantly predicted increased sexual refusal self-efficacy. Implications of this study in regard to culturally-based teenage pregnancy prevention and education initiatives are discussed. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
Article
Descriptions of adolescents’ first coital experiences have typically focused on the negative affect reported by women or on sex differences in levels of positive affect. Analyses of factors associated with a positive first coitus are rare. Accordingly, we examined correlates of a pleasurable first coital experience among 335 undergraduates. Analyses focused on three elements of a positive sexual experience—positive emotionality (e.g., happy), empowerment, and feelings of love—and on four groups of potential correlates: context of the first experience, parental socialization messages, gender attributes and beliefs, and body satisfaction. Each of these four domains emerged as significant correlates. Results suggested that a more intentional (vs. spontaneous) first experience, exposure to parental messages about sexual freedom, less adherence to “traditional” gender roles, and greater body satisfaction were related to a more positive first coital experience. These findings suggest that comprehensive sexual education programs would likely facilitate positive sexual development.
Article
While popular culture has more frequently depicted women's masturbation in recent years, scholarly attention to women's own meaning making about masturbation remains largely absent. Existing research that emphasizes women's masturbation frequency, health correlates, masturbation as a factor in couples therapy, and masturbation as a substitute for partnered sexual behaviors have dominated the research, largely neglecting social identity correlates and women's subjectivities about masturbation. This study drew upon qualitative interviews with 20 women (mean age = 34, SD = 13.35) from diverse backgrounds to illuminate five themes in women's experiences with masturbation: a) assumptions that most women self-penetrate during masturbation even when primarily using clitoral stimulation; b) masturbation as sexual labor; c) masturbation as a threat to male dominance; d) masturbation as routine tension release; and e) masturbation as a source of joy, fun, and pleasure. Because women revealed such a diverse set of experiences, we explored the advantages and disadvantages of the invisibility of women's masturbation. As a result of the internalization of stereotypically masculine scripts about sexuality-including an imagined penetrative focus, goal-oriented drive toward orgasm, sex as labor, and masturbation as nonemotional-women's masturbation experiences, regardless of sexual orientation, revealed the power imbalances often present in partnered (hetero)sexual dynamics.
Article
Research has shown men often desire additional muscle mass, a trait related to masculine personality characteristics. While some research has suggested men lacking in muscle may believe themselves to be sexually undesirable to women, little research has been done in this area, especially when compared to the strong literature connecting women's drive for thinness to female sexual behavior. The present study sought to determine the connection between men's body image and men's perceived sexual efficacy and attractiveness. Male undergraduates (N = 105) completed a novel scale of sexual efficacy and attractiveness, in addition to questions relating to self-esteem, sexual behaviors and milestones, desire for muscle, and desire for thinness. Sexual efficacy and attractiveness was positively related to self-esteem, and mediated drive for muscle's negative relationship to self-esteem. Drive for thinness was negatively related to self-esteem, but unrelated to any sexual indices. Results suggest the presence of two types of body image dissatisfaction in men - thinness and muscle - but only the culturally demanded body dimension impacts sexual variables. Implications for future research are discussed.
Article
Drawing upon a large, recent probability sample of American adults ages 18–60 (7648 men and 8090 women), we explored the association between sexual frequency and masturbation, evaluating the evidence for whether masturbation compensates for unavailable sex, complements (or augments) existing paired sexual activity, or bears little association with it. We found evidence supporting a compensatory relationship between masturbation and sexual frequency for men, and a complementary one among women, but each association was both modest and contingent on how content participants were with their self-reported frequency of sex. Among men and women, both partnered status and their sexual contentment were more obvious predictors of masturbation than was recent frequency of sex. We conclude that both hypotheses as commonly evaluated suffer from failing to account for the pivotal role of subjective sexual contentment in predicting masturbation.
Article
While much research has addressed negativity surrounding women’s menstruation, surprisingly little research has interrogated the relationship between menstruation and sexuality. This study used inductive thematic analysis of qualitative interviews with 40 women across a range of age, race and sexual orientation backgrounds to examine women’s experiences with sex during menstruation. Results showed that, while 25 women described negative reactions — and two described neutral reactions — 13 women described positive reactions to menstrual sex. Negative responses cohered around four themes: women’s discomfort and physical labor to clean ‘messes’, overt partner discomfort, negative self-perception and emotional labor to manage partner’s disgust. Positive responses cohered around two themes: physical and emotional pleasure from sex while menstruating, and rebellion against anti-menstrual attitudes. Notable race and sexual identity differences appeared, as white women and bisexual or lesbian-identified women described positive feelings about menstrual sex more than women of color or heterosexual women. Bisexual women with male partners described more positive reactions to menstrual sex than did heterosexual women with male partners, implying that heterosexual identity related to negative menstrual sex attitudes more than heterosexual behavior. Those with positive menstrual sex attitudes also enjoyed masturbation more than others. Implications for sexual identity and racial identity informing body practices, partner choice affecting women’s body affirmation, and women’s resistance against common cultural ideas about women’s bodies as ‘disgusting’ were addressed.
Article
Rather than abstracting my experience in a way that neatly summarizes or prepackages our encounter, I prefer to extend an invitation to you to join me on this auto(erotic)ethnographic journey. I must warn, however, that moving forward with this story requires that you take a risk, to interact with me, to engage in conversation, and to jump into the process with your body, heart, and mind so that we can create spaces to tell our sexual stories – stories that need to be told, autoethnographically – auto(erotic)ethnographically, regardless of how masturbatory they are, may be, or might become.
Article
Full-text available
While studies have documented robust relationships between body image and sexual health outcomes, few studies have looked beyond sexual functioning in women. Here, we hypothesized that more positive body image would be associated with greater sexual liberalism and more positive attitudes toward unconventional sexual practices. An online sample of 151 women and 164 men from the U.S. completed measures of sexual liberalism, attitudes toward unconventional sexual practices, and indices of positive body image (i.e., body appreciation, body acceptance by others, body image flexibility, and body pride), and provided their demographic details. Regression analyses indicated that, once the effects of sexual orientation, relationship status, age, and body mass index had been accounted for, higher body appreciation was significantly associated with greater sexual liberalism in women and men. Furthermore, higher body appreciation and body image flexibility were significantly associated with more positive attitudes toward unconventional sexual practices in women and men. These results may have implications for scholars working from a sex-positive perspective, particularly in terms of understanding the role body image plays in sexual attitudes and behaviors.
Article
ubersicht Spatestens seit den 1970er-Jahren wird Masturbation in der Sexualwissenschaft, -therapie und -padagogik als wichtige Komponente sexueller Gesundheit angesehen. Allerdings gibt es nur wenige differenzierte Befunde zu moglichen Wirkungen von Masturbation auf sexuelle Erfahrungen und sexuelles Erleben. Die vorliegende Arbeit stellt den aktuellen Forschungsstand vor und diskutiert Methodik, Reichweite und zentrale Ergebnisse wichtiger quantitativer und qualitativer Studien. Die meisten Studien erheben Masturbationsvorkommen und Masturbationsfrequenzen. Diese variieren deutlich nach Geschlecht, Bildungsstand, Religiositat sowie Kulturzugehorigkeit. Einige Studien finden sowohl fur Erwachsene als auch fur Jugendliche einen Zusammenhang zwischen hohen Masturbationsfrequenzen und sexueller Fantasietatigkeit, sexueller Aktivitat und einem gro ss eren sexuellen Repertoire. Auch Zusammenhange mit positiven Einstellungen zu Sexualitat, einem positiven Korperselbstbild und einer hoheren allgemeinen sexuellen Aktivitat wurden vereinzelt berichtet. Unklar bleibt beim gegenwartigen Forschungsstand der Zusammenhang von Masturbationsaktivitat und Partnersexualitat. Es ware wunschenswert, zukunftig auch Motive, Einstellungen und das subjektive Erleben bei der Masturbation zu erheben.
Article
Masturbation, as a significant sexual activity within its own right, has garnered substantial interest as a research topic only within the past 10–20 years. In this in-depth analysis of masturbation in women, we examined relationships among frequencies of, reasons for, and activities during masturbation, and investigated how such parameters predict orgasmic pleasure, latency, and difficulty. Participants were 2215 women at least 18 years of age participating in a 42-item opt-in online survey that collected detailed information about women’s orgasmic response during masturbation and partnered sex. Higher frequency of masturbation was related to lower satisfaction with partner, greater importance of sex, and higher levels of general anxiety/depression. Frequency of, reasons for, and activities during masturbation predicted both orgasmic pleasure and orgasmic difficulty during masturbation. The pattern of results enabled the development of three typologies of women who differ systematically with respect to their masturbation and partnered sex behaviors.
The social organization of women's sexuality Handbook of women's sexual and reproductive health
  • E Laumann
  • J Mahay
Laumann, E., & Mahay, J. (2002). The social organization of women's sexuality. In G. M. Wingood & R. J. DiClemente (Eds.), Handbook of women's sexual and reproductive health. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.
Changing positions: Women speak out on sex and desire
  • J Marrow
Marrow, J. (1997). Changing positions: Women speak out on sex and desire. Holbrook, MA: Adams Media Corporation.
Sexual salvation: Affirming women's sexual rights and pleasures
  • N B Mccormick
McCormick, N. B. (1994). Sexual salvation: Affirming women's sexual rights and pleasures. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Female sexuality: Looking back into the future Analyzing gender: A handbook of social science research Body image among men and women in a biracial cohort: The CARDIA study
  • B E Schneider
  • M Gould
Schneider, B. E., & Gould, M. (1987). Female sexuality: Looking back into the future. In B. B. Hess & M. M. Ferree (Eds.), Analyzing gender: A handbook of social science research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Smith, D., Thompson, K., Raczynski, J., & Hilner, J. (1999). Body image among men and women in a biracial cohort: The CARDIA study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 25, 71–82.
Shortchanging girls, shortchanging America
  • References Aauw
REFERENCES AAUW. (1991). Shortchanging girls, shortchanging America. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women.
Women's sexualities: Generations of women share intimate secrets of sexual self-acceptance
  • C R Ellison
Ellison, C. R. (2000). Women's sexualities: Generations of women share intimate secrets of sexual self-acceptance. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Unbearable weight: Feminism, western culture, and the body The multi-dimensional body-self relations ques-tionnaire. (MBRSQ User's Manual). Norfolk, VA: Old Do-minion University Women's body images: The results of a national survey in the U
  • S Bordo
  • T F Cash
Bordo, S. (1993). Unbearable weight: Feminism, western culture, and the body. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Cash, T. F. (1994). The multi-dimensional body-self relations ques-tionnaire. (MBRSQ User's Manual). Norfolk, VA: Old Do-minion University. Cash, T., & Henry, P. (1995). Women's body images: The results of a national survey in the U.S.A. Sex Roles, 33(1-2), 19–28.
Sexualities Handbook of the psychology of women and gender
  • C Kitzinger
Kitzinger, C. (2001). Sexualities. In R. Unger (Ed.), Handbook of the psychology of women and gender. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
How being a good girl can be bad for girls Good girls/bad girls: Women, sex, violence and power in the 1990s
  • D L Tolman
  • T Higgins
Tolman, D. L., & Higgins, T. (1996). How being a good girl can be bad for girls. In N. B. Maglin & D. Perry (Eds.), Good girls/bad girls: Women, sex, violence and power in the 1990s (pp. 205–225). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univer-sity Press.
Breasts: The women's perspective on an Amer-ican obsession
  • C Latteier
Latteier, C. (1998). Breasts: The women's perspective on an Amer-ican obsession. New York: Harrington Park Press.
I'll die for the revolution but don't ask me not to diet Feminist perspectives on eating disorders Beauty is the beast: Psychological effects of the pursuit of the perfect female body Mountain View
  • E Rothblum
  • E A Saltzberg
  • J C Chrisler
Rothblum, E. (1994). I'll die for the revolution but don't ask me not to diet. In P. Fallon, M. Katzman & S. Wooley (Eds.), Feminist perspectives on eating disorders. New York: The Guilford Press. Saltzberg, E. A., & Chrisler, J. C. (1995). Beauty is the beast: Psychological effects of the pursuit of the perfect female body. In J. Freeman (Ed.), Women: A feminist perspective (5 th ed.,pp. 306–315). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.
Sex smart: How your childhood shaped your sexual life and what to do about it
  • A L Zoldbrod
Zoldbrod, A. L. (1998). Sex smart: How your childhood shaped your sexual life and what to do about it. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Article
Eating attitudes and behaviors, body image, and psychological functioning were evaluated in 98 female college students: 36 African-Americans, 34 Asian-Americans, and 28 Caucasians. African-Americans had significantly higher body mass index than either Asian-American or Caucasians. In contrast, Caucasians reported greater levels of disordered eating and dieting behaviors and attitudes and greater body dissatisfaction than did Asian-Americans and African-Americans who differed little on these measures. The nature of variability in these eating behaviors and attitudes and body image was also examined within each of the three groups. A generally consistent pattern emerged within each racial group: low self-esteem and high public self-consciousness were associated with greater levels of problematic eating behaviors and attitudes and body dissatisfaction. A history of being teased about weight and size was associated with problematic eating behaviors and attitudes and body dissatisfaction in African-Americans and Caucasians but not in Asian-Americans. The findings suggest that there exist important racial differences on various aspects of eating, dieting, and body image in college women. Contrary to hypothesis, the degree of acculturation and assimilation within the African-American and Asian-American groups was unrelated to variability in these domains. © 1995 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Article
This study assessed the relationship of race, weight, and desired weight change to body dissatisfaction and the relationship of desired weight change and body dissatisfaction to Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26) scores. Subjects were 373 white and 80 black college females. Results indicated that for both black and white women, current weight and desire to change weight were related to body dissatisfaction. White women, however, had significantly higher body dissatisfaction scores than did black women. For both black and white women, desired weight change and body dissatisfaction were related to EAT-26 scores. However, white women had significantly higher EAT-26 scores than did black women.
Article
The present study examined possible social developmental precursors to women's body images, including appearance-related leasing and criticism, sibling social comparisons, and maternal modeling of body-image attitudes and behaviors. One hundred fifty-two college women completed retrospective measures of these experiences from childhood and adolescence, and multiple, standardized measures of current body image. Results confirmed that each of these three variables independently and additively explained significant variance in present body images. Controlling for current body weight seldom altered the findings. Limitations and implications of the conclusions are discussed from methodological, clinical, social, and developmental perspectives.
Article
Not Our Kind of Girl: Unraveling the Myths of Black Teenage Motherhood. E. B. Kaplan. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1997. 250 pp. ISBN 0-520-20858-7. $15.95 paper. Elaine Bell Kaplan has introduced through her extensive study of Black teen mothers some new concepts or at least a new way of viewing old concepts of Black teenage pregnancy. This 1986 research study included both low-income and middle-class mothers. Kaplan promotes a strengths perspective in her portrayal of these mothers, which is a positive approach to interpreting behaviors of minorities who have traditionally been described in social science literature as having little or no strength. However, Kaplan's description of the social workers in the program where she obtained her sample is disturbing. She describes these social workers as judgmental, unprepared to work with this population of women, and ineffective. These qualities are not those promoted by the social work profession. Kaplan integrates the works of Moynihan (1965), Stack (1974), Wilson (1987), Williams and Kornblum (1985), Ladner and Gourdine (1984) in her study. The promotion or critique of these studies provides a theoretical framework for Kaplan's analyses. These and other social scientists' research on teenage pregnancy provides a broad base of analysis for Kaplan's data. The population stratification of using current teens and adults who had been teen mothers and were low to middle class is confusing at times. The inclusion of the table in the indices is helpful in clarifying who were the participants in this study. Most notable is Kaplan's concept of "poverty of relationships," which she defines as critical to the circumstances experienced by the participants in the study. The relationships between the young women and their mothers often were strained. However, it was clear that the father-daughter relationships were either nonexistent or fantasized. The relationships the teen mothers experienced with the fathers of their children were fragmented, unrealistic, demeaning, and controlling. It seems that the young women were desperate for solid, supportive relationships but found or were found by men who exhibited the traits of their fathers, or they were so naive about building relationships that sexual encounters became the mainstay of the experience of intimacy for them. These young women, in essence, were seeking love in all the wrong places. Kaplan states that society has presented females with a notion that their selfdefinition relies on their relationship with males. A new type of education for women is needed, Kaplan says. Kaplan also deals with the issue of morality in the Black community. …
Article
Age, gender, and gender role differences on a set of variables including concern with eating, body weight, and physical appearance, global self-esteem, and appearance self-esteem were examined in a sample of subjects consisting of 639 visitors to a participatory science museum. Their ages ranged from 10 to 79 years. Results showed that females are more concerned than males about eating, body weight, and physical appearance and have lower appearance self-esteem. More important, these gender differences are generally apparent at all ages. The importance of gender differences across the life span in appearance concern and appearance self-esteem is discussed.
Article
This investigation was a representative survey, conducted in 1993, of the body images of 803 adult women in the United States. Included in the survey instrument were selected subscales from the standardized Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire, which had been used in a U.S. survey in 1985. The results indicated substantial levels of body dissatisfaction, possibly surpassing levels observed in the 1985 survey. Nearly one-half of the women reported globally negative evaluations of their appearance and a preoccupation with being or becoming overweight. Whereas age effects were minimal, significant race/ethnicity effects were found, with clearly more positive body images among African American than Anglo or Hispanic women. The social and clinical implications of the findings were discussed.
Article
Full-text available
No formulaic feminist sex therapy can do justice to the diversity of women's sexual problems and goals. We can start, however, by abandoning biological reductionism as enshrined in the DSM while at the same time offering every woman an opportunity for a thorough, educational, physical consultation. Feminist sex therapy must encompass two domains of insight and skill. The first, for everyone, includes Feminism 101, corrective genital physiology education, assertiveness training, body image reclamation, and masturbation education. The second, working towards a better world, rejects sexual drive in favor of contact comfort, mental masturbation, new categories of gender, and an understanding of sexual talent.
Article
[The author argues that] we are just at the beginning . . . of an explosion of fascinating new theory and research about human sexuality, new ideas that will fully take into account the social culture within which each person becomes sexual. [Her] work, preliminary to these insights, has been to analyze and critique the prevailing biomedical and masculinist paradigm dominant in sexology. [She believes] that this new paradigm [social constructionism] will provide a more humane and complete successor [to the present biomedical approach to sexology] (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Discusses the historical, racial, and economic influences on the sexuality of the black female. Slavery and lack of societal protection made virginity an elusive goal for black females. This experience has positive implications; the black female learned to appreciate the intrinsic pleasure of sex relations without the guilt and anxiety white females are now attempting to overcome, and is thus a model of sexual liberation. The naturalistic character of sexual relations and their importance in the black subculture may explain why social class and religion have not exerted a constraining influence. Stereotypes about the virility of the black male, black definitions of sexual perversion, and the black female's relationships with black and white males are also discussed. (59 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Evaluated the reliability and validity of the Body Image Assessment (BIA), a measure designed to assess body image disturbances. 659 female Ss participated and represented 6 diagnostic groups (normals, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, bulimic binge-eaters, obese, and atypical eating disorder). Diagnoses were made using Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-III—Revised (DSM-III—R) criteria. Test–retest reliability was satisfactory. In 2 validity studies, the BIA was associated with other measures of eating disorder problems and differentiated eating disorder groups from normals. Normative data were presented as a function of actual body size so that raw scores could be interpreted in terms of standardized scores. The reliability and validity of the BIA was supported, especially for bulimia nervosa and binge-eater groups. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Eating attitudes and behaviors related to anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and obesity of White American, African-American, Native American, and some international women are considered from the point of view of cultural influences such as sex role, the media, SES, and acculturation to Western society. Counselors are urged to consider cultural influences that affect the lives of women of color. The counselor should assess the degree to which a woman identifies with her own and White culture. Helping women understand the impact of the dominant White culture may help them to challenge the Western concept of beauty. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Body image disturbance is both positively associated with the development of eating disorders and negatively associated with recovery. However, the aspects of body image most relevant to eating disorders have not been clearly established. Body image preoccupation may be particularly relevant to disordered eating. Yet, its measurement has proven problematic. In Study 1, a modification of the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ), a measure of body image preoccupation (P. J. Cooper, M. J. Taylor, Z. Cooper, & C. G. Fairburn, 1987), was developed in a sample of female undergraduates. The BSQ–R–10 yielded reliable and valid scores, and was more strongly related to disordered eating than measures of body image attitudes. In Study 2, the BSQ–R–10 was cross-validated in another sample of female undergraduates, and its psychometric properties further supported. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
To examine the role of female masturbation in marital and sexual satisfaction, a nonclinical population of married women (aged 18–30 yrs) was divided into 2 demographically matched groups: women who have reportedly experienced a masturbatory orgasm and women who have reportedly never experienced an orgasm through self-stimulation, each group representing 41 women. Seven comparative assessments were made between the 2 groups: frequency of sexual activity, number of orgasms, subjective sexual desire, self-esteem, marital satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and subjective sexual arousal. Significant differences between the 2 groups appeared on 6 of the 7 measurements, indicating that masturbators had significantly more orgasms, greater sexual desire, higher self-esteem, and greater marital and sexual satisfaction, and required less time to sexual arousal. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study compared the prevalence of bulimia and the attitudes toward food and weight in a Black college population with the results obtained from a similar study of Caucasian college students (Gray & Ford, 1985). A 34-item questionnaire containing an operationalized version of the DSM-III criteria for bulimia (American Psychiatric Association, 1980) and demographic information was completed by 507 (341 women, 166 men) Black college students. Results showed there were significantly fewer Black women than Caucasian women who met the DSM-III and bulimia nervosa critria for bulimia. In addition, Black college women were found to be less likely to experience a sense of fear and discouragement concerning food and weight control than Caucasian women. The prevalence of bulimia was very low to nonexistent in both the Black and Caucasian male samples. These findings were discussed in regard to differential attitudes toward weight and beauty among the two ethnic groups.
Article
Based on the limited number of abstracts accessed on PsycLit between 1984 and 1991 that included poor women, Reid (1993) concluded that such women were essentially “shut up” and “shut out” of mainstream psychological research and theory. The authors conducted a follow-up analysis for the years 1991 through 1997 to determine whether significant change had taken place. In addition, they looked at the inclusion of poor women in research in the areas of sexuality and reproductive health. Results of the analysis suggest that poor women remain marginalized in our discipline's discourse.
Article
It has been assumed that the occurrence of eating disorders in American racial minority groups are rare. Indeed, whereas the cultural context may afford protection to the group, it does not necessarily protect specific individuals. Individuals within each racial/ethnic group are subject to the standards of the dominant culture, particularly when the culture-of-origin is devalued by the dominant culture. Social, familial, and individual factors which contribute to disorders eating symptomatology are discussed. Discussions of obstacles to detecting eating disorders and guidelines for developing more inclusive theory of and treatment of persons with eating disorders is included.
Article
The Social Organization of Sexuality reports the complete results of the nation's most comprehensive representative survey of sexual practices in the general adult population of the United States. This highly detailed portrait of sex in America and its social context and implications has established a new and original scientific orientation to the study of sexual behavior. "The most comprehensive U.S. sex survey ever." —USA Today "The findings from this survey, the first in decades to provide detailed insights about the sexual behavior of a representative sample of Americans, will have a profound impact on how policy makers tackle a number of pressing health problems." —Alison Bass, The Boston Globe "A fat, sophisticated, and sperm-freezingly serious volume. . . . This book is not in the business of giving us a good time. It is in the business of asking three thousand four hundred and thirty-two other people whether they had a good time, and exactly what they did to make it so good." —Anthony Lane, The New Yorker New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
Article
Black and white adolescents' perceptions of their weight were examined in this study. A 22-item questionnaire on weight perceptions and weight control was administered to 341 adolescents from two inner city schools in the midwest (138 black and 193 white students). Students were classified as thin, normal, or heavy based on National Health Survey data on height and weight measurements for youth ages 12-17. Significant differences (p less than .05) occurred in how the heavy black and white males and females perceived their weight in comparison to actual weight. All heavy white females perceived they were heavy, in comparison to only 40% of heavy black females; 78% of heavy white males labeled themselves heavy vs. 36% of heavy black males. Thin black and white females were dieting and exercising to lose weight and thin white males were exercising to lose weight. Black males were significantly more likely to believe emotions did not affect their weight when compared to white males. Black females believed exercise levels accounted for their weight, while white females attributed their weight to eating habits. Beliefs about exercise and eating contributed 23% to the variance found in perceived weight status of black males. White males believed access to food and their emotions accounted for their perceived weight. Leading sources of weight control information regardless of ethnicity were television, family members, friends and magazines for females; males used TV, family members, and athletic coaches.
Article
Full-text available
Explores why women in general are more prone to develop bulimia than men and which women in particular have a higher risk of becoming bulimic. Risk factors for bulimia are discussed in terms of sociocultural variables, such as the central role of beauty in the female sex-role stereotype; developmental processes; psychological variables; and biological factors, including genetic determinants of weight, the disregulation of body weight and eating through dieting, affective instability, and family variables. The sociocultural and psychological mediators that contribute to the increased risk of bulimia in this era are discussed, including a shift toward an increased emphasis on thinness, the effects of media attention on dieting and bulimia, fitness, and shifting sex roles. Results indicate that female socialization is a major contributing factor in bulimia. Although significantly fewer men than women currently show evidence of bulimia, it is hypothesized that the general pressure on men to become conscious of physical fitness and appearance, together with certain male subcultures that emphasize weight standards, will lead to an increased incidence of bulimia in men. (5½ p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A new class of drugs (nootropics) are viewed from the perspective of their neuropsychological effect upon developmental dyslexia. Evidence from both the preclinical and clinical work conducted on Piracetam is briefly reviewed. The latest research on the effects of Piracetam in dyslexia shows a convergence of results. Attempts to replicate these results with dyslexia have only met with success in the areas of reading rate. In an attempt to find an independent replication of the Chase et al. (1984) finding, the author provides additional evidence on the effects of Piracetam on reading Rate X Accuracy in dyslexics.
Article
Eating attitudes and behaviors, body image, and psychological functioning were evaluated in 98 female college students: 36 African-Americans, 34 Asian-Americans, and 28 Caucasians. African-Americans had significantly higher body mass index than either Asian-American or Caucasians. In contrast, Caucasians reported greater levels of disordered eating and dieting behaviors and attitudes and greater body dissatisfaction than did Asian-Americans and African-Americans who differed little on these measures. The nature of variability in these eating behaviors and attitudes and body image was also examined within each of the three groups. A generally consistent pattern emerged within each racial group: low self-esteem and high public self-consciousness were associated with greater levels of problematic eating behaviors and attitudes and body dissatisfaction. A history of being teased about weight and size was associated with problematic eating behaviors and attitudes and body dissatisfaction in African-Americans and Caucasians but not in Asian-Americans. The findings suggest that there exist important racial differences on various aspects of eating, dieting, and body image in college women. Contrary to hypothesis, the degree of acculturation and assimilation within the African-American and Asian-American groups was unrelated to variability in these domains.
Article
This study examined differences in perceptions of body weight, dieting, unhealthy eating behaviors, and weight control methods among adolescent males and females of various racial/ethnic and socioeconomic (SES) subgroups. Data were derived from a comprehensive health survey administered to 36,320 students in grades 7 through 12 in Minnesota. Differences among ethnic/racial and SES groups were assessed using multivariate logistic regression controlling for grade and body mass index (BMI). Results showed that unhealthy weight control behaviors are not confined to upper SES white females. Compared to white females, Hispanic females reported greater use of diuretics; Asians reported more binge eating; and blacks reported higher rates of vomiting. Black and American Indian females were more likely to be satisfied with their body. Among males and females, higher SES was associated with greater weight satisfaction and lower rates of pathological weight control behaviors. Findings from this study suggest that future research should focus on the validity of self-reports of dieting and weight control behaviors in different ethnic subgroups.
Article
Body image in childhood initially develops in response to the empathic reflections of the mother or caregiver that are communicated mainly by physical sensations such as touching, secure holding, or tactile nurturing. In a nonclinical sample of 173 shoppers, we observed an inverse correlation between perceived tactile nurturing during childhood and Drive for Thinness (Eating Disorder Inventory [EDI]; Pearson r = -.19, p < or = .05) and Body Dissatisfaction (EDI; Pearson r = -.23, p < or = .05) among the females (n = 102). Furthermore, among the females there was a direct correlation (r = .29, p < .05) between a current desire to get more tactile nurturance and Drive for Thinness. Our empirical finding are consistent with the earlier developmental literature and support the importance of tactile nurturance in the development of body image especially among females.
Article
The low prevalence of restrictive eating disorders among black women has been attributed primarily to cultural differences in the definition of beauty. Utilizing self-report measures, this study examined differences in the nature of disordered eating behaviors for black and for white female college students. Analyses of covariance and correlational tests revealed that white females demonstrated significantly greater disordered eating attitudes and behaviors than black females. Additionally, the data indicated that although disordered eating behaviors and attitudes are related to actual weight problems for black females, this is not the case for white females. Furthermore, this study is the first to provide evidence that restrictive eating disorders among black women are related to the degree to which they assimilate to mainstream culture. Finally disordered eating behaviors and attitudes were related to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem in both groups.
Article
A stratified random sample of 496 white (n =337) and black (n =159) adolescent males participated in a survey of ideal body size beliefs. Responses to the questionnaire and a series of nine female and male body size drawings were analyzed using the General Linear Model Analysis of Variance and Categorical Modeling. Using SES and race as independent variables and BMI (kg/m 2)as a covariate, black males were found to prefer a significantly heavier ideal female body size than whites (p <.0001) and also perceived that their parents, female friends, and male friends would select as ideal a significantly heavier female body size than white subjects. Black subjects were 1.9 times (O.R. = 1.88, 95% C.I. = 1.44, 2.47) more likely to select a larger ideal female hip/buttocks size and 1.7 times (O.R. = 1.72, 95% C.I. = 1.25, 2.37) more likely to choose a larger ideal female thigh size than white subjects. Our findings seem to point toward a greater approval and social acceptance of a larger body size for black females by black males.
Article
Women with bulimia nervosa generally have reported greater sexual activity and experience relative to women with anorexia nervosa. However, past research has been based on small samples and has not controlled for potential confounding variables or symptom severity. We further investigated sexual experience among women diagnosed with an eating disorder. Women evaluated in an outpatient eating disorders program, and subsequently diagnosed with either anorexia nervosa (n = 131) or bulimia nervosa (n = 319), completed the Diagnostic Survey for Eating Disorders-Revised (DSED-R) at intake. Sexual experience variables (masturbation, coitus, sexual satisfaction), as well as control variables (age, weight, and menarche) and measures of symptom severity, were derived from the DSED-R. Logistic regression analyses were used to predict sexual experience. After controlling for relevant covariates, bulimics were more likely than anorexics to have engaged in sexual intercourse. Masturbation experience, as well as self-ratings of current sexual satisfaction, were inversely related to degree of restriction of caloric intake, particularly among women with anorexia nervosa. When compared to anorexics, bulimics reported greater sexual interest and earlier age of first coitus. Coitus (sexual activity involving a partner) was related to eating disorder diagnosis independent of symptoms, whereas masturbation (self-focused sexual activity) was related to caloric restriction for the sample as a whole and anorexia nervosa patients in particular. These relationships between sexual experience and eating disorder symptoms and diagnosis may illuminate the personality features of women with anorexia nervosa versus bulimia nervosa as well as the functional role of caloric restriction.
Article
Past research and clinical observations have implicated sexuality as a factor involved in eating disorders. Yet little research has been conducted on possible links between body image and sexuality. We investigated such relationships within a large sample of women with bulimia nervosa. A sample of adult women (N = 221) diagnosed with bulimia nervosa, purging type, completed a widely used measure of body dissatisfaction and answered questions about basic sexual experiences (coital and masturbation experience, age of onset of these activities, and self-rated satisfaction with current sexual activity). After controlling for age, age of onset of menses, and current body size, body dissatisfaction was unrelated to coital experience. However, even after controlling for these relevant covariates, current body dissatisfaction was predictive of lower incidence, and later onset, of masturbation. Current body dissatisfaction was marginally related (p < .10) to self-rated satisfaction with one's current sex life. Results are discussed with regard to past research, directions for future research, and clinical implications.
Article
To examine body image in a population-based, biracial cohort. Body image measures were obtained on 1,837 men (45% Black) and 1,895 women (51% Black) in the CARDIA study. Subscales of the Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire (Appearance Evaluation and Appearance Orientation) and a measure of body size dissatisfaction were obtained. Blacks were more invested in appearance than Whites and women were more invested than men. Women were more dissatisfied with size and overall appearance than men, and White men were more dissatisfied with appearance than Black men. Black and White women were similarly dissatisfied with size and appearance. However, after adjustment for age, body mass index, and education, Black women were more satisfied with both dimensions than White women. Obesity was strongly associated with body dissatisfaction across all gender-ethnicity groups. Significant differences in body image were apparent by gender and ethnicity, and different patterns were evident depending on the dimension considered.
Article
Different cultural norms and standards for appropriate female body size might contribute to the disparity in obesity rates between black and white adult females (46.0% and 24.6% respectively). The purpose of this study was to measure adolescents' perceptions of ideal size and social norms regarding female body size as well as adolescents' perceptions of significant others' evaluation and expectations of the adolescents' body size. Subjects included 437 adolescent girls (247 white and 190 black) aged 13 to 19 (x=44.9, SD=.979) from six randomly selected public schools. The subjects, heights and weights were measured. Responses to a body image questionnaire and a series of nine female body drawings (arranged ordinally, 1 to 9, from thinnest to heaviest) were analyzed using the General Linear Model and Logistic Regression. The female body size considered ideal by black females was significantly larger than the size selected as ideal by white females (x= 3.47 and x= 3.13 respectively, p< 0.001). Black females were two times more likely than white females to describe themselves as thinner than other girls their age (O.R. = 2.01, 95% C.I.1.34, 3.01) and seven times as likely to say that they were not overweight (O.R. = 7.08, 95% C.I. 3.72, 13.45). White females wanted to be a smaller size than they currently were and felt encouraged by significant others to lose weight or reduce their size. Black females did not indicate as great a desire as whites to be smaller and they tended to feel that their size was considered satisfactory by significant others. Only subjects from the low SES group perceived that significant others wanted them to gain weight. The differences between black and white subjects' beliefs and perceptions about body size norms may explain, in part, why heavier body weights persist in some cultural groups.