Discrepant Self-Views and Young Women's Sexual and Emotional Adjustment

Discrepant Self-Views and Young Women's Sexual and Emotional Adjustment Young women in the United States receive conflicting messages about being sexually moral versus sexually desirable. Drawing from self-discrepancy theory, we hypothesized that women's internalization of messages about morality and desirability influence their ought and ideal self-guides for sexuality, respectively. Further, we expected that women who viewed their actual selves as significantly less positive/more negative than their self-guides would endorse greater sexual and emotional problems. In Study 1, never-married undergraduate women (N = 242) completed measures of sexual self-views, ought self-guides, and sexual adjustment. In Study 2, another sample (N = 170) also completed measures of ideal self-guides, depression, and anxiety. Participants were predominantly Caucasian and from upper middle-class backgrounds. Both negative actual:ought and actual:ideal discrepancies were associated with poorer sexual adjustment. Negative actual:ought discrepancies were associated with anxiety but not depression, whereas negative actual:ideal discrepancies were associated with both anxiety and depression. Self-discrepancy theory is a useful framework for understanding how self-standards for sexual morality versus desirability are associated with young women's emotional and sexual adjustment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Discrepant Self-Views and Young Women's Sexual and Emotional Adjustment

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1007051131544
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Young women in the United States receive conflicting messages about being sexually moral versus sexually desirable. Drawing from self-discrepancy theory, we hypothesized that women's internalization of messages about morality and desirability influence their ought and ideal self-guides for sexuality, respectively. Further, we expected that women who viewed their actual selves as significantly less positive/more negative than their self-guides would endorse greater sexual and emotional problems. In Study 1, never-married undergraduate women (N = 242) completed measures of sexual self-views, ought self-guides, and sexual adjustment. In Study 2, another sample (N = 170) also completed measures of ideal self-guides, depression, and anxiety. Participants were predominantly Caucasian and from upper middle-class backgrounds. Both negative actual:ought and actual:ideal discrepancies were associated with poorer sexual adjustment. Negative actual:ought discrepancies were associated with anxiety but not depression, whereas negative actual:ideal discrepancies were associated with both anxiety and depression. Self-discrepancy theory is a useful framework for understanding how self-standards for sexual morality versus desirability are associated with young women's emotional and sexual adjustment.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References

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