Relationship of body image self-consciousness and sexuality in sexually active heterosexual female college students

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Baggett, Linda R.
Gaither, George A.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Psychological Science
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Previous research has shown that many women feel self-conscious of their bodies during physical intimacy with their partners, and this body image self-consciousness was related to sexual esteem, sexual assertiveness, sexual experience, and avoidance of sexual behavior. The purpose of the present study was to further explore body image selfconsciousness and examine its relationship with sexual functioning, risky sexual behavior, and sexual victimization. Participants were 171 heterosexual, sexually active, female undergraduate college students and completed the Body Image Self-Consciousness Scale (BISCS), the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the Sexual Experiences Survey (SES), and a questionnaire assessing sexual experience and risky sexual behavior. Results found that body image self-consciousness was associated with use of protection against sexually transmitted infection during vaginal sex, overall sexual functioning, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction, and the frequency of some sexual behavior, but not sexual victimization.