liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
"Sexual pleasure on equal terms": Young women´s ideal sexual situations
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Gender and medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Gender and medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Centrum för genusvetenskap, Lunds universitet.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1588-135X
2012 (English)In: Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ISSN 0167-482X, E-ISSN 1743-8942, Vol. 33, no 3, 129-134 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: We wanted to identify young women’s ideal images of sexual situations and expectations of themselves in sexual situations.

Methods: We conducted audiotaped qualitative individual interviews with 14 women aged 14 to 20 years, visiting two youth centers in Sweden. The data were analyzed with constant comparative analysis, the basis of grounded theory methodology.

Results: The women’s ideal sexual situations in heterosexual practice were characterized by sexual pleasure on equal terms, implying that no one dominates and both partners get pleasure. There were obstacles to reaching this ideal, such as influences from social norms and demands, and experiences of the partner’s “own race”. An incentive to reach the ideal sexual situation was the wish to experience the source of pleasure.

Conclusions: Our research further accentuates the importance of finding ways to focus on the complexity of unequal gender norms in youth heterosexuality. A better understanding of these cognitions is essential and useful among professionals working with youths´ sexual health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 33, no 3, 129-134 p.
Keyword [en]
constant comparative analysis/method; gender; sexual pleasure; sexual situation; young women
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21170DOI: 10.3109/0167482X.2012.706342ISI: 000307675100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-21170DiVA: diva2:240831
Note

funding agencies|Swedish Research Council|521-3003-5150|Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden (FORSS)||

Available from: 2009-09-30 Created: 2009-09-29 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Painful Ideals: Young Swedish women´s ideal sexual situations and experiences of pain during vaginal intercourse
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Painful Ideals: Young Swedish women´s ideal sexual situations and experiences of pain during vaginal intercourse
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Smärtsamma Ideal : Unga svenska kvinnors ideala sexuella situationer och erfarenheter av smärta vid samlag
Abstract [en]

Many young women today are concerned about their sexual health; an increasing number of them consult gynaecologists, youth centres (YCs) and general practitioners with vulvar problems such as painful sensations associated with vaginal intercourse (VIC). It is known that some women continue to have VIC despite pain. Theoretically, repeated painful VIC might elicit vaginistic reactions, which may increase the pain and induce vicious circles. Since many clinicians and researchers nowadays notice that pain during VIC often starts at young age, it is important to investigate how pain during VIC starts and is maintained in younger populations. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate young women’s experiences of ideal sexual situations and pain during VIC.

Women aged 13-22 years participated in our studies, which used both quantitative (study I and IV) and qualitative (study II and III) methods. For paper I, a questionnaire was developed and used in a YC sample (n=300); informants for paper II were selected from that sample to participate in qualitative interviews (n=16). Another qualitative interview study for paper III with a complimentary research question was conducted in a different YC sample (n=14). For paper IV, a questionnaire was developed based on the results from study I, II and III to test the hypotheses derived from study II in a sample of female high school students (n=1566).

The findings revealed that 65% of the women reported pain related to first VIC. Among those who reported VIC during the previous month, 49% had experienced pain and/or discomfort during VIC during that same period (paper I). In paper IV, 47% of the women reported experience of pain and/or discomfort during VIC, and among those, 47% continued to have VIC, 22% feigned enjoyment, and 33% omitted telling the partner about their pain. In paper II, the women’s reasons for continuing to have VIC despite pain were: striving to reach their ideal image of a woman, characterized as always willing to have VIC; being perceptive of their partner’s sexual needs; and being able to satisfy their partner. In paper IV the hypotheses derived from study II were confirmed and showed, for example that a significantly higher proportion of women who continue to have VIC despite pain than women who did not had difficulty refusing sex when the partner wants it, felt inferior to the partner during sex, regarded the partner’s satisfaction as more important than their own, felt dissatisfaction with their sex life, and feigned enjoyment despite pain. In a multivariate model, continuing to have VIC despite pain was associated with feelings of being inferior to the partner during sex (adjusted OR 1.82; CI 1.10-3.02), dissatisfaction with their own sex lives (adjusted OR 1.76; CI 1.14-2.72) and feigning enjoyment while having pain (adjusted OR 7.45; CI 4.37-12.69).

The major reason for continuing to have VIC was that the partner’s enjoyment was prioritized higher than their own (paper IV). In paper III, we found that women without pain during VIC also felt pressure from social norms and demands and had experienced partners “driving their own race”. However, they managed to some extent to resist these unequal gender norms because of their urge to experience pleasure.

In conclusion, pain during VIC is a common complaint among young Swedish women, and a high proportion of them continue having VIC despite pain. The women’s notion of prioritizing the partners´ enjoyment before their own illustrates that unequal gender regimes affect young women’s (hetero)sexuality negatively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2009. 74 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1145
Keyword
Adolescent, Coital pain, Constant comparative analysis/method, Dyspareunia, Gender, Sexual intercourse, Sexual situation, Vaginal intercourse, Young women
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-20277 (URN)978-91-7393-561-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-09-25, Berzeliussalen, Campus US, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-10-06 Created: 2009-09-01 Last updated: 2012-02-03Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textLink to Ph.D. Thesis

Authority records BETA

Elmerstig, EvaWijma, BarbroBerterö, Carina

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Elmerstig, EvaWijma, BarbroBerterö, Carina
By organisation
Gender and medicineFaculty of Health SciencesNursing Science
In the same journal
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Social Sciences InterdisciplinaryGender Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 242 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf