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Contemporary women's understandings of female sexuality: findings from an in-depth interview study

Contemporary women's understandings of female sexuality: findings from an in-depth interview study

Bellamy, Gary, Gott, Merryn, Hinchliff, Sharron and Nicolson, Paula (2011) Contemporary women's understandings of female sexuality: findings from an in-depth interview study. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 26 (1). pp. 84-95. ISSN 1468-1994 (Print), 1468-1749 (Online) (doi:10.1080/14681994.2010.523074)

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Abstract

Based upon the findings of a qualitative in-depth interview study with 23 women aged 23–72 years recruited from members of the general public and a psychosexual clinic, this paper explores participants understandings of the term “sexuality”. The findings are set within the context of historical, prevailing and often contradictory perceptions of the term. Data were analysed thematically using the conventions of template analysis within a material discursive framework. This paper questions the assumption that sexuality is an altogether powerful and naturally occurring phenomenon. The ability to isolate and give credence to a definitive meaning of the term is, both for participants and academics alike, an arduous undertaking. Rather than focusing primarily on the material body, the extent to which ideology, culture and power intersect with the former indicate its multidimensional, constructed nature. Given the whole host of meanings evoked by the term, the paper asserts that it is more fitting to talk of multiple understandings of sexuality rather than a singular authoritative one whilst also contingent on social and historical practices. The findings have implications that should be considered when evaluating previous sexological research and conducting future research where this term is used throughout as a focus of academic enquiry.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: women, sexuality, social construction, sex, qualitative research
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:25
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/10285

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