While studies have documented robust relationships between body image and sexual health outcomes, few studies have looked beyond sexual functioning in women. Here, we hypothesized that more positive body image would be associated with greater sexual liberalism and more positive attitudes toward unconventional sexual practices. An online sample of 151 women and 164 men from the U.S. completed measures of sexual liberalism, attitudes toward unconventional sexual practices, and indices of positive body image (i.e., body appreciation, body acceptance by others, body image flexibility, and body pride), and provided their demographic details. Regression analyses indicated that, once the effects of sexual orientation, relationship status, age, and body mass index had been accounted for, higher body appreciation was significantly associated with greater sexual liberalism in women and men. Furthermore, higher body appreciation and body image flexibility were significantly associated with more positive attitudes toward unconventional sexual practices in women and men. These results may have implications for scholars working from a sex-positive perspective, particularly in terms of understanding the role body image plays in sexual attitudes and behaviors.
Archives of Sexual Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 17, 2017
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