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Women who have sex with women: a comprehensive review of the literature and conceptual model of sexual function

Women who have sex with women: a comprehensive review of the literature and conceptual model of sexual function
Women who have sex with women: a comprehensive review of the literature and conceptual model of sexual function
Women who have sex with women (WSW) have been underrepresented in studies on sexual function. Consequently, much of what is known of female sexual function may not be representative of, or generalizable to, the experiences of WSW. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive and critical review of the literature on the sexual function of WSW, followed by an integration of the literature in a conceptual model to guide and stimulate research. Twenty-six articles are reviewed and 15 factors are identified as contributing to sexual functioning in WSW and are subsequently included in the conceptual model. Of these, it is suggested that eight factors may contribute directly to sexual function. These include: age, income, religion, cultural recognition, relationship duration, sexual satisfaction, psychological well-being, and relationship satisfaction. The literature suggests the remaining seven factors may indirectly contribute to sexual function. These include: sexual frequency, desire discrepancy between partners, internalized homonegativity, power, social support, emotional intimacy, and a discrepancy between partners in level of being “out” as a lesbian or bisexual woman. Comparisons are made to the sexual function of women who have sex with men and the implications of having a model that recognizes similarities while also considering unique influences for WSW are discussed.
1468-1994
364-399
Armstrong, Heather L.
3dc9c223-1a61-47ad-ab0b-50d06cddf4f2
Reissing, Elke D.
d6c69d14-9820-4280-be76-97e74bc16f2d
Armstrong, Heather L.
3dc9c223-1a61-47ad-ab0b-50d06cddf4f2
Reissing, Elke D.
d6c69d14-9820-4280-be76-97e74bc16f2d

Armstrong, Heather L. and Reissing, Elke D. (2013) Women who have sex with women: a comprehensive review of the literature and conceptual model of sexual function. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 28 (4), 364-399. (doi:10.1080/14681994.2013.807912).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Women who have sex with women (WSW) have been underrepresented in studies on sexual function. Consequently, much of what is known of female sexual function may not be representative of, or generalizable to, the experiences of WSW. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive and critical review of the literature on the sexual function of WSW, followed by an integration of the literature in a conceptual model to guide and stimulate research. Twenty-six articles are reviewed and 15 factors are identified as contributing to sexual functioning in WSW and are subsequently included in the conceptual model. Of these, it is suggested that eight factors may contribute directly to sexual function. These include: age, income, religion, cultural recognition, relationship duration, sexual satisfaction, psychological well-being, and relationship satisfaction. The literature suggests the remaining seven factors may indirectly contribute to sexual function. These include: sexual frequency, desire discrepancy between partners, internalized homonegativity, power, social support, emotional intimacy, and a discrepancy between partners in level of being “out” as a lesbian or bisexual woman. Comparisons are made to the sexual function of women who have sex with men and the implications of having a model that recognizes similarities while also considering unique influences for WSW are discussed.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 May 2013
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 June 2013
Published date: 1 November 2013

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429947
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429947
ISSN: 1468-1994
PURE UUID: 1f348d44-0b94-4fc4-ab8f-3d8ef8c0141b
ORCID for Heather L. Armstrong: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1071-8644

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 22 Oct 2019 00:21

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