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The Effects of Body Esteem and Self-Consciousness on Frequency of Sexual Behavior Holly Heindselman Rachel Yates Hanover College 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "The Effects of Body Esteem and Self-Consciousness on Frequency of Sexual Behavior Holly Heindselman Rachel Yates Hanover College 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Effects of Body Esteem and Self-Consciousness on Frequency of Sexual Behavior Holly Heindselman Rachel Yates Hanover College 2008

2 Introduction Low levels of body esteem is related to psychological disturbances: Depression, social isolation, low self-esteem, etc. (Ackard, Kearney-Cooke, & Peterson, 1999). Even after controlling for actual body size, approximately 1/3 of college student women experienced body-image self-consciousness during physical intimacy (Wiederman, 2000).

3 Previous findings Women who are satisfied with their body image have a higher frequency of sexual behavior and are more comfortable with sexual activities, than those who are dissatisfied (Ackard, Kearney-Cooke, & Peterson, 1999). Body image is a predictor for comfort in undressing in front of a partner and comfort when having sex with the lights on (Ackard, Kearney- Cooke, & Peterson, 1999).

4 Research Question How does the way in which men and women feel about their bodies (body esteem) affect their sexual behavior?

5 Method 311 participants Ages 18-57, Mean: % Male, 79.4% Female 57 participants deleted: Repetitive answers Duplicate submission Blanks on questionnaire Under age of 18

6 Measures Predictor Variables: Sexual Self-Consciousness Body Esteem Dependent Variable: Frequency of Sexual Activity (Mercer & Kohn, 1979) Light Petting(sexual touching over the clothes) Heavy Petting (sexual touching under the clothes) Oral Stimulation Vaginal Intercourse

7 Method Online survey Informed Consent Demographics Rouse- Pattison Sexual Behavior Survey Body- Esteem Scale (Franzoi & Shields, 1984) Sexual Self-Consciousness Questionnaire (Wiederman, 2000). Debriefing Form

8 Method Rouse-Pattison Sexual Behavior Survey Allowed to type the number of times and provided with a drop down menu to select per day/week/month/year. Example light petting item: Kissing (clothed) Above waist fondling over clothes Example heavy petting item: Touching under the clothes above/below the waist

9 Reliability Cronbach’s Alpha Light-petting: α=.78 # of items: 7 Heavy-petting: α=.79 # of items: 2 Oral Sex: α=.86 # of items: 2 (Receiving and performing)

10 Method The Body-Esteem Scale (Franzoi & Shields, 1984) 1(Strong neg. feelings)- 5(Strong positive feelings) Rate Each body part/function (18 in all) Ex. Body scent, appetite, lips, thighs, biceps

11 Method Sexual Self-Consciousness questionnaire Examples: I (would) feel very uncomfortable walking around the bedroom, in front of my partner, completely nude. I (would) have a difficult time taking a shower or a bath with a partner. I (would) feel anxious receiving a full-body massage from a partner. Cronbach’s alpha: α=.93

12 Hypotheses Negative correlation between sexual self- consciousness and heavy petting No correlation between light petting and sexual self-consciousness or light petting and body esteem Positive correlation between body esteem and heavy petting

13 Hypotheses (cont.) Similar results for oral stimulation and sexual intercourse as for heavy petting Larger effects for women in all of the sexual cases than for men

14 Results Gender differences:

15 Results -no significant main effects or interactions involving gender, sexual orientation, or marital status at p <.05.

16 Discussion Men scored lower on sexual self-consciousness and higher in body esteem suggests men have a higher overall comfort with their bodies than women Most important- the relationship between self- consciousness and behavior followed the trends expected Absence of clothing does produce higher feelings of self- consciousness Suggests that one’s feelings about their body can impact their sexual behavior

17 Future Research Report of # of times per year is likely overestimated by participants Suggest doing a more concrete study that measures actual behavior as time goes on Women oriented therapy in terms of body esteem Investigate reasons why oral stimulation is less related to self-consciousness than other behaviors

18 Questions?


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