Current Sexual Health Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 199–207 | Cite as

The relationship between women’s genital self-image and female sexual function: A national survey

  • Laura Berman
  • Mieke Ana Windecker


This study examines the effect of women’s genital self-image (GSI) on female sexual function. GSI refers to how a woman feels and behaves in relation to her genitals. Sexual function refers to six distinct dimensions: desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain. A randomly selected sample of 2206 women of diverse races, relationship statuses, and ages was surveyed. Women who scored highest on the Genital Self-Image Scale reported greater levels of sexual function in all areas, had more sexual energy, and had an easier time achieving orgasm. Women who reported the highest GSI scores were in relationships, of African American descent, and between 25 to 44 years of age. The study also found that a woman’s perception of genital odor is the most significant contributor to her GSI.


Sexual Function Sexual Health Sexual Dysfunction Berman Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern Memorial HospitalChicagoUSA

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