Sexual Submissiveness in Women: Costs for Sexual Autonomy and Arousal

Diana T. Sanchez, Amy K. Kiefer, Oscar Ybarra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women are bombarded with images of women's sexual submission and subservience to male partners. The authors argue that women internalize this submissive role, namely, they associate sex implicitly with submission. The authors propose that this association leads to submissive sexual behavior, thereby reducing sexual autonomy and arousal. Study 1 found that women implicitly associated sex with submission. Study 2 showed that women's implicit association of sex with submission predicted greater personal adoption of a submissive sexual role. Study 3 found that men did not implicitly associate sex with submission. Study 4 demonstrated that women's adoption of a submissive sexual role predicted lower reported arousal and greater reported difficulty becoming sexually aroused; sexual autonomy mediated these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-524
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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