The role of body surveillance, body shame, and body self-conciousness during sexual activities in women's sexual experience

  • Claudat K
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Abstract

Objectification theory is a social constructivist framework that aims to explain how sociocultural and intrapersonal variables impact women's mental health. To date, however, few studies have used an objectification framework to examine the relationship between body image and sexual functioning in ethnically diverse samples of women. Consequently, the present study used the tenets of objectification theory to examine body image and sexuality in women. Specifically, this study investigated the relationships between body surveillance, body shame, body self-consciousness during sexual activities, and sexual satisfaction in American female college students. Participants completed self-report measures of demographic information, body shame, body surveillance, body self-consciousness during sexual activity, and sexual satisfaction. Bivariate correlations suggested that body surveillance, body shame, and body self-consciousness during sexual activity were negatively correlated with sexual satisfaction. Additionally, path analysis indicated that body surveillance predicted increased body self-consciousness during sexual activity, which was partially mediated by body shame. Body self-consciousness, in turn, predicted decreased sexual satisfaction. Overall, study findings suggest that it is important to assess for and address body surveillance, body shame, and body concerns during sexual activity in clinical contexts with women presenting with sexual dissatisfaction.

Author-supplied keywords

  • 0453:Womens studies
  • 0625:Personality psychology
  • Body image
  • Objectification theory
  • Personality psychology
  • Psychology
  • Sexual satisfaction
  • Social sciences
  • Womens studies

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Authors

  • Kimberly Bryce Claudat

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