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Gender differences in the experience of heterosexual intercourse.

by Gurit E Birnbaum, Dafna Laser-Brandt
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality ()


This paper describes the development and testing of a self-report scale delineating the components of the experience of heterosexual intercourse of both men and women. In a preliminary study, 70 men freely expressed the feelings, thoughts, and motives involved in the experience of heterosexual intercourse. A content analysis revealed that the components of the experience of heterosexual intercourse found in the men's sample are very similar to those found in a women's sample in a previous study (Birnbaum, Glaubman, & Mikulincer, 2001). On this account, the Experience of Heterosexual Intercourse Scale (EHIS), which was used by Birnbaum and her colleagues, was administered to 181 women and 178 men. Overall, the results revealed that the experience of women was more centred on both the aversive and positive relational aspects of heterosexual intercourse than the experience of men. Findings are discussed in relation to sociobiological and social influence theories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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