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

Author: University of Kentucky
Published: Friday 8th December 2017
Summary: Female sexual desire study is the first of its kind in comparing desire in LGBQ* and heterosexual women.


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


Similar Topics


From our Female Sexual Health section - Full List (21 Items)

Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.


LGBT People Could Gain Additional Protections from Discrimination After Bostock


HUD Aims to Reverse Protections for Homeless Transgender People Accessing Shelters


Bisexual Women and Girls Reproductive Health Needs Greater Attention


Only 3% of Sexually Active Transgender People Use PrEP


Experiences of Food Insecurity Among Californian LGBTQ


U.S. DOJ Files Statement of Interest Defending Constitutionality of Idaho's Fairness in Women's Sports Act


US Supreme Court Decision Protects 8.1M LGBT Workers From Employment Discrimination


LGB People Who Have Undergone Conversion Therapy Almost Twice As Likely to Attempt Suicide



Tsara Shelton
"Storytellers are powerful and we are all storytellers," suggests Tsara Shelton, author of the book Spinning in Circles and Learning from Myself: A Collection of Stories that Slowly Grow Up..


LGBT Awareness & Events
List of important LGBT awareness dates and coming sexual diversity events.


Transgender Reporting Guide - English
Guide for those writing on transgender and LGBT community - Spanish Version.
Sexuality Definitions
List of definitions and glossary of sexual terms, abbreviations and their meanings.