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Ecological Models of Sexual Satisfaction among Lesbian/Bisexual and Heterosexual Women



Sexual satisfaction is an integral component of sexual health and well-being, yet we know little about which factors contribute to it among lesbian/bisexual women. To examine a proposed ecological model of sexual satisfaction, we conducted an internet survey of married heterosexual women and lesbian/bisexual women in committed same-sex relationships. Structural equation modeling included five final latent variables for heterosexual women and seven final latent variables for lesbian/bisexual women. Overall, results indicated that, for both groups of women, a similar constellation of factors (depressive symptoms, relationship satisfaction, sexual functioning, and social support) was related to sexual satisfaction. In lesbian/bisexual women, internalized homophobia was an additional factor. Contrary to expectations, the presence of children in the home and a history of childhood sexual abuse did not contribute significantly to the model for either group. Findings support the idea that gender socialization may influence sexual satisfaction more than socialization around sexual orientation. Additionally, given that for both groups of women relationship satisfaction explained a substantial amount of variance in sexual satisfaction, sexual concerns may be better addressed at the relationship than the individual level.



Archives of Sexual BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 1, 2009

DOI: 10.1007/s10508-008-9384-3

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