THE INFLUENCE OF WOMEN’S FEMINIST IDENTITY, SEXUAL ASSERTIVENESS, AND SEXUAL DOUBLE STANDARDS ON WOMEN’S LEVELS OF SEXUAL SATISFACTION
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The purpose of this study is to determine the relative contributions of women’s sexual assertiveness, endorsement of sexual double standards, and feminist identity to women’s sexual satisfaction. Given that all variables are related to sexual satisfaction, this paper addresses the question of what is the order of importance of women’s sexual assertiveness, endorsement of sexual double standards, and feminist identity is to women’s sexual satisfaction. Previous research has found a high correlation between women’s feminist identity, sexual assertiveness, and endorsement of sexual double standards, with women’s sexual satisfaction (Bay-Cheng & Zucker, 2007; MacNeil & Byers, 2009; Morokoff, et al., 1997; Schick, Zucker, & Bay-Cheng, 2008); therefore, this study will examine the relative contributions these variables have on women’s sexual satisfaction. Participants included 96 undergraduate and graduate students as well as non-student members of the community and surrounding areas. Each participant included in the study was involved in a monogamous heterosexual relationship for a minimum of one year. The sample was drawn from a mid-sized rural university and community setting in the South. Women’s feminist identity was operationalized by the Feminist Identity Composite Scale (FICS; Fischer, Tokar, Mergl, Good, Hill, & Blum, 2000); sexual assertiveness was operationalized by using the Sexual Assertiveness Scale (Morokoff, et al., 1997); endorsement of sexual double standards was operationalized using the Sexual Double Standards Scale (SDS; Muehlenhard & Quackenbush, 1998); and sexual satisfaction was operationalized using Hudson’s (1992) Index of Sexual Satisfaction. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to see whether any of the differences between the two primary racial groups (Black and White) were significant. The ANOVA revealed that there were significant differences with Refusal of unwanted sexual advances p= .05 (a subscale of the SAS), and Active Commitment p<.01 (a subscale of the FICS). Separate regression analyses were done for Black and White women with the predictor variables Initiation and Refusal, Pregnancy/STD Prevention, Sexual Double Standards, and Active Commitment, and the criterion variable of sexual satisfaction. Separate multiple regressions were conducted for Black and White women with the predictor variables Initiation, Refusal, Pregnancy/STD Prevention, Sexual Double Standards, and Passive Acceptance. The only significant regression model was for White women, explaining 26% of the variance in sexual satisfaction.
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