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Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Nov;45(8):1923-1931. Epub 2016 Jun 15.

On the Link Between Benevolent Sexism and Orgasm Frequency in Heterosexual Women.

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School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, 4072, Australia.
School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, 4072, Australia.
School of Applied Psychology and Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.


Previous research on subclinical orgasmic difficulties among women has focused on intrapsychic and interpersonal variables, but little attention has been paid to the more distal ideological factors that might indirectly constrain sexual pleasure. We hypothesized that women's endorsement of a benevolently sexist worldview would be negatively associated with orgasm frequency. Specifically, we predicted that benevolent sexism would be associated with increased perceptions of male sexual selfishness. This perception of men as interested in their own sexual pleasure would then predict decreased willingness to ask a partner for sexual pleasure, which in turn would be associated with less frequent orgasms. We found support for our model across two studies (Study 1: N = 339; Study 2: N = 323). We did not, however, find a direct effect of benevolent sexism on orgasm frequency. We discuss possible additional variables linking benevolent sexism with orgasm frequency, implications, and future directions.


Benevolent sexism; Gender beliefs; Orgasm; Sexual functioning

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