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Deconstructing sex: an in-depth qualitative exploration of women’s sexual experiences and difficulties

Deconstructing sex: an in-depth qualitative exploration of women’s sexual experiences and difficulties

Epidemiological research on sexual difficulties in women has reported high rates of sexual problems and dissatisfaction across the lifespan. Nevertheless, feminist scholars and social science researchers argue that an absence of research exploring women’s subjective interpretations of their sexuality and sexual difficulties exists, since prevalence studies do not address how the range of diverse socio-cultural, relational, biological and psychological processes interact to influence women’s sexuality across the lifespan. 

The current study aimed to narrow this research dearth by presenting an in-depth, qualitative exploration of heterosexual women’s accounts of their sexual experiences and their perceived sexuality. A phenomenological approach was utilised against the socially constructed notion of sex to understand women’s sexuality. Five core themes emerged from qualitative interviews with 18 women that were considered paramount to women’s subjective interpretations and experience of their sexuality and sexual difficulties.

There were socio-cultural factors; inter-relationship factors; social roles and expectations; practices and preferences; and views on change. The current study highlights the multifaceted double standard within socio-cultural expectations of what it means to be a heterosexual woman, exemplified in the relationship between women’s sexual difficulties and idealistic sexual expectations, male-centred sexual socialisation, over-burdened social roles, unequal relationships, and inadequate sexual practices.
Despite experiencing sexual difficulties with associated distress throughout the lifespan, participants did not identify with prevailing medicalised notions of sexual problems. Participants differentiated between sex as important and sex as a priority.

Relationships between sexual maturity, confidence and sexual satisfaction as well as sexual knowledge emerged in the narratives. Clinical implications incorporating women-centred classification frameworks such as a New View of women’s sexual problems are discussed. Directions for future research are presented.


Asia Oceania Federation of Sexology 2014

Ejaculation disorders - Diagnosis & Treatment.

The commonest male ejaculation disorder is Premature Ejaculation (PE). Inhibited or Delayed Ejaculation can be a more challenging condition to assess and treat. This discussion will focus on the diagnosis, investigations and management of ejaculation problems including an overview of the first medication specifically approved for the treatment of PE, dapoxetine, released under the trade name of Priligy™. 

Awareness and intent of Pap testing among sexually active university students in Korea

Unmarried women have not been a target group for cervical cancer prevention in Korea. This study was performed to identify the awareness of Pap testing in unmarried university students in Korea, and to investigate the factors associated with the intention to undergo Pap testing. 

Women's Sexuality Post Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is a traumatic event that results in a sudden life change that is difficult to conceptualise. No one can truly be prepared for such a huge shock. It impacts a person not just physically and neurologically, but also socially, emotionally and psychologically. Recovering from SCI has been likened to a “rebirth”. A person needs to reconstruct even the most basic activities of daily living. Sexuality, being an integral part of every person’s life, is also part of this reconstruction process. 

Sexual Orientation Identity Development: Implications for the Psychological Adjustment of Gay and Bisexual Young Males in Japan

According to previous studies, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people report lower levels of mental health relative to heterosexuals. Young LGB people especially suffer from poorer psychological adjustment. However, it remains unclear whether different developmental identity patterns have implications for the psychological adjustment of LGB youths. There is a possibility that the development of sexual orientation identity is related to the better mental health among young LGB people. This study examines whether different patterns of LGB identity formation and integration are associated with psychological adjustment. 

Considering the partner of the women with sexual pain

In this presentation, Dr Redelman reviews some strategies to improving therapeutic outcomes by considering partner characteristics, such as personality and coping style, and relationship dynamics.

Using a mind/body model for the management of Sexual Pain

Dr Anita Elias will present a practical assessment and management tool that helps patients understand the connection between their thoughts, emotions and physical sexual responses. This model considers

The Celibacy Syndrome and Sexless Marriages in Japan - Culture Specific Phenomena of Clinical Issues?

This presentation aims to discuss two well-known sexuality phenomena in Japan from the clinical and cultural perspective. The celibacy syndrome in young people and sexless marriages are becoming widely discussed issues, raising more and more concerns over the future of Japanese society.