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Lesbian body image doesn’t affect sexual satisfaction

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Lesbian body image

Lesbian body image doesn’t affect sexual satisfaction

A study exploring the impact of body image on sexual satisfaction in heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian women found that the lesbian body image has no significant impact on sexual satisfaction.

The study, which was published in Frontiers in Psychology, also noted that the three groups of women reported similar levels of body dissatisfaction.

Linking lesbian body image to sexual satisfaction

This study looked at whether or not lesbian women feel the same body dissatisfaction as heterosexual women, given that psychology researchers widely agree that nearly all women experience pressure to fit beauty standards.

And to fill in the research gap especially with non-heterosexuals, study authors Silvia Moreno-Domínguez and her team also explored the link between body image and sexual satisfaction in a diverse sample of women.

The authors hypothesized “that the sexual satisfaction of women interested in attracting men (heterosexual and bisexual women) would be more affected by their body concerns compared to those removed from the male gaze in their sexual relations (lesbian women).”

The study looked at 333 Spanish women between the ages of 18 to 62. Of this number, 176 identified themselves as heterosexual, 79 identified as bisexual, and 78 identified as lesbian.

Moreover, 75 percent reported being in a stable relationship, 14 percent were casually dating, and 11 percent were not dating anyone.

The women were required to answer the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ) to measure body image concern, and the Index of Sexual Satisfaction (ISI) to assess satisfaction in with sexual life.

No differences in body or sexual dissatisfaction

Among the findings of the study was that there was no significant differences in body dissatisfaction or sexual dissatisfaction among the three types of women.

Likewise, the three groups showed similar Body Mass Index (BMI) scores based on the subject’s self-reported weight and height.

However, multiple regression analyses showed that heterosexual and bisexual women experienced the greatest impact of body satisfaction on sexual satisfaction.

For straight women, body dissatisfaction and monthly sexual activity predicted sexual dissatisfaction. Bisexual women also had the same, with BMI another additional predictor of sexual dissatisfaction.

However, lesbian women only had monthly sexual activity as the predictor of sexual satisfaction.

Lesbian body image protected from male standard of beauty

What does this mean? The researchers said that sexual orientation may actually serve as a protective factor for women who are less likely to be evaluated against the male standard of beauty.

“It could be argued that women sensitive to the male gaze may have strongly internalized heterosexist values about beauty standards and, as a consequence, their body concerns may have more strongly affected their sex lives,” they said.

“Because lesbians seem to be freer from the male gaze, it could be argued that societal pressure to be physically attractive is less salient for lesbian women,” they added.

Because of this, researchers noted that the extent to which women of different sexual orientations internalize heterosexist beauty standards may determine the degree of pressure they experience.

They further said their study “highlights the need to regulate the abuse of the dominant aesthetic canon that harms women of all sexual orientations and identities.”

However, they did admit that their study has limitations, including the fact that their sample doesn’t include transgender or non-binary individuals or consider factors related to “masculine and feminine gender expressions.”

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