Relationship between psychosocial and interpersonal factors and implicit sex -submission associations in Hispanic/Latina and White women

Myriel Rodriguez Boissen, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate implicit sex-submission associations for Hispanic/Latina and White women. Furthermore, this study examined how childhood sexual abuse, anticipated negative partner reaction-refusal, psychosexual functioning, sexual assertiveness-refusal and communication, and hyperfemininity are associated with women's implicit sex-submission associations. Eighty-two female undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Rhode Island participated in the 30-minute experimental session (44 White and 38 Hispanic/Latina women). ^ Results indicated that both Hispanic/Latina and White women associate sex with submission at an implicit level. Both groups of women had faster reaction times to sex primed submission words than to neutral primed submission words or to sex primed dominance words. Thus, sex primes facilitated responses to submissive target words suggesting that women associate sex with submission at an automatic level. ^ Results also showed that women who associated sex with submission had lower positive attitudes towards their sexuality and adhered to more traditional gender roles. This was found for both Hispanic/Latina and White women when looking at both samples separately. Thus, women who implicitly associate sex with submission will tend to adhere to more traditional gender norms which in turn can create negative feelings towards their own sexuality. ^ However, for Hispanic/Latina and White women, different sex-power associations were associated with sexual assertiveness in refusing unwanted sexual activity. For White women, sex-dominance associations were associated with higher levels of sexual assertiveness-refusal indicating that to the extent that a sex prime facilitated response to dominance words, women were more assertive in refusing unwanted sex. For Hispanic/Latina women, sex-submission associations were found to be associated with less sexually assertive behaviors in refusing unwanted sex. ^ These results indicate that women associate their sexual role with submission at an automatic level. Furthermore, these sex-submission links are associated with adhering to more traditional gender roles and can affect women's attitudes towards their sexuality as well as their sexual assertiveness in refusing unwanted sex. However, different sex-power associations may be impacting Hispanic/Latina and White women's ability to assertively refuse unwanted sex. Therefore, it is important for interventions designed to address women's sexual health issues to be culturally tailored, taking into account such factors. ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Psychology, Clinical|Hispanic American Studies

Recommended Citation

Myriel Rodriguez Boissen, "Relationship between psychosocial and interpersonal factors and implicit sex -submission associations in Hispanic/Latina and White women" (2010). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3415507.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI3415507

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