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Genital Perceptions and Sexual Activity in a College Population

Rhonda K. Reinholtz and Charlene L. Muehlenhard
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 32, No. 2 (1995), pp. 155-165
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812967
Page Count: 11
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Genital Perceptions and Sexual Activity in a College Population
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Abstract

Anecdotal evidence suggests that perceptions of the genitals--one's own and one's partner's--may be related to enjoyment of sexual activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among genital perceptions and performing and receiving oral sex, penile-vaginal intercourse, and masturbation. Participants were 160 male and 160 female students at a large Midwestern university. Participants completed a questionnaire in which they indicated how well self-statements describing genital perceptions and reasons for engaging in and not engaging in sexual activity applied to themselves. The results showed significant correlations between genital perceptions and sexual activity, such that higher levels of participation in and enjoyment of sexual activity, especially oral-genital behavior, were associated with more positive and fewer negative genital perceptions. Men had more positive genital perceptions than did women for both their own and their sexual partner's genitals. These results are consistent with cultural sexual stereotypes and have implications for sex education and clinical work.

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