TITLE

Social norms and general sexual satisfaction: The cost of misperceived descriptive norms

AUTHOR(S)
Stephenson, Kyle R.; Sullivan, Kieran T.
PUB. DATE
October 2009
SOURCE
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2009, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p89
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Past research has identified important correlates of sexual satisfaction, but more theoretically-driven research is needed to integrate these findings and identify the causes of variance in sexual satisfaction. The purpose of the two exploratory studies presented here was to examine the utility of Social Norms Theory in understanding the impact of misperceived norms on general sexual satisfaction in unmarried college students. The findings of Study 1 indicated that, consistent with previous research, participants overestimated the sexual activity and permissiveness of their peers and thus perceived self-other discrepancies. Overall, larger perceived discrepancies predicted lower general sexual satisfaction. Study 2 showed that a brief educational intervention could alter these misperceived discrepancies such that participants exposed to the intervention showed smaller self-other discrepancies with concomitantly higher levels of general sexual satisfaction. The theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.
ACCESSION #
44762800

 

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