Screen Readers Skip to Content

LGBQ* Women's Sexual Desire Particularly Impacted by Social and Cultural Pressures

Author: University of Kentucky
Published: 8th Dec 2017
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Female Sexual Health Publications

Summary: Female sexual desire study is the first of its kind in comparing desire in LGBQ* and heterosexual women.


Main Document

Women's sexual desire is influenced by a host of factors, but one factor is often left out by researchers and clinicians. University of Kentucky researchers homed in on that missing piece -- the influence of social and cultural issues on desire. In a study published in Sexuality & Culture, the researchers find that these issues are particularly impactful for LGBQ* women.

"The broader sociocultural context of sexual desire can be difficult to study," said Kristen Mark, associate professor of health promotion in the UK College of Education and the project's principal investigator. "This was something that needed to be examined qualitatively through in-depth interviews -- we weren't going to be able to adequately understand the complexities of this from a quantitative survey."

Most female sexual desire research has focused on the influence of three factors:

Mark, along with doctoral student Dani Rosenkrantz, saw sociocultural issues as the fourth factor, and an area ripe for further exploration. Their study is the first of its kind in comparing desire in LGBQ* and heterosexual women.

The results of their study contribute to the understanding of how desire is influenced by issues such as sexism, religion, attitudes toward aging, gender expectations, body image, sexual orientation discrimination, and changing cultural times.

"Research tells us that social and cultural pressures and minority stress can impact women's health," said Rosenkrantz, who is a member of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at UK, directed by Mark. "We were curious about how these stressors impact sexual desire experiences, which we believe is an important aspect of women's sexual heath that had yet to be understood."

The collaborators sought a diverse group and interviewed women who identify as bisexual, lesbian and heterosexual.

"As an interviewer, it was a privilege to be able to sit with these women and hear about this sensitive and personal part of their lives," Rosenkrantz said. "They were really motivated to increase awareness of their experiences to move this body of research forward."

Interviews confirmed that multiple sociocultural factors influence desire, particularly in LGBQ*, or sexual minority, women.

"Sexual minority women are not only struggling with the challenges of sexual desire related to being a woman, but also those that come with being a sexual minority," wrote Mark and Rosenkrantz in the published study. "These challenges are heightened for women identifying as women of color or bisexual. Recognizing the impact of these sociocultural factors is essential for empowering sexually diverse women and providing culturally competent treatment for sexual desire challenges."

UK is the University for Kentucky.

At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

Post to Twitter Add to Facebook

Latest Female Sexual Health Publications

The above information is from our reference library of resources relating to Female Sexual Health that includes:

Effect of Sexual Orientation on Sexual Function and Distress thumbnail image.
A new study suggests cisgender heterosexual women are more satisfied in relationships and have fewer depression and anxiety symptoms than cisgender sexual minority women.
Publish Date: 27th Sep 2023
Gender Stereotypes Impact Diagnosis of Girls with Developmental Language Disorder thumbnail image.
Researchers examine the consequences of sexist myths on development of language, communication, and the social and emotional spheres among children.
Publish Date: 6th Feb 2023
A Tale of Three Women: Vaginismus, Menopause, and Sexual Anhedonia thumbnail image.
Three women with separate stories of sexual issues and discoveries.
Publish Date: 31st Jan 2023
Wooden court gavel and sound block. thumbnail image
A third of women of reproductive age in the United States face excessive travel times to obtain an abortion after U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson decision.
Publish Date: 1st Nov 2022


1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.

2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.

3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.

4Glossary of Sexual Identities
Definitions of gender related terms.

5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?

• Submissions: Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.


• Report Errors: Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.



• (APA): University of Kentucky. (2017, December 8). LGBQ* Women's Sexual Desire Particularly Impacted by Social and Cultural Pressures. SexualDiversity.org. Retrieved April 13, 2024 from www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/health/female/848.php


• Permalink: <a href="https://www.sexualdiversity.org/sexuality/health/female/848.php">LGBQ* Women's Sexual Desire Particularly Impacted by Social and Cultural Pressures</a>