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Dysfunctional Sex Beliefs and Women

Dysfunctional Sex Beliefs and WomenSexual orientation appears to play a role in women’s sexual beliefs, according to a survey conducted by Portuguese researchers.

About 400 men and women, both heterosexual and homosexual, completed the Sexual Dysfunctional Beliefs Questionnaire. Among the 192 female participants, 96 identified as lesbian.

The researchers found that lesbians were more likely agree with statements such as the following:

·         Sex is dirty and sinful.

·         Experiencing pleasure during sexual activity is not acceptable in a virtuous woman.

·         After menopause, women can’t reach orgasm.

·         As women age, the pleasure they get from sex decreases.

·         Love and affection from a partner are necessary for good sex.

·         Sex without love is like food without flavor.


Heterosexual women tended to agree with statements related to motherhood, such as “Sex is meant only for procreation” and “The most wonderful emotions that a woman can experience are maternal.”

The researchers also took sexual dysfunction into account. They found that women who believed sexual desire was related to sin were more likely to have sexual problems than those who didn’t share this belief. The was true for both sexual orientations studied.

They noted, however, that their results could not be applied to the general population. For example, the study participants were generally younger than the overall Portuguese community. Also, as the survey was delivered online, only people with Internet access could participate.

The study was first published online in August in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Please click here to read more about the men’s survey responses.

Print this article or view it as a PDF file here: Dysfunctional Sex Beliefs and Women


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Peixoto, Maria Manuela MSc and Pedro Nobre PhD

“Dysfunctional Sexual Beliefs: A Comparative Study of Heterosexual Men and Women, Gay Men, and Lesbian Women With and Without Sexual Problems”

(Full-text. First published online: August 13, 2014)