Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 405–423 | Cite as

Models of female orgasm

  • P. M. Bentler
  • William H. PeelerJr.


Self-report instruments concerning personality and subjective responses to sexual orgasm were filled out by 281 female university undergraduates. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to evaluate the dimensionality of women's subjective responsiveness to orgasm. The results did not support the concept of a unidimensional orgasm process; separate coital and masturbatory factors of orgasmic experience were obtained. Highly internally consistent scales were developed to assess the two factors, and both scales were found to be significantly correlated with indices of extraversion, attitudes toward masturbation, and sexual experience. A path-analytic model was developed which is consistent with the hypothesis that heterosexual and monosexual behaviors act as mediators between extraversion, neuroticism, and attitudes toward masturbation, on the one hand, and subjective coital or masturbatory orgasmic responsiveness, on the other. It appears that attitudes toward masturbation may also have a direct influence on masturbatory responsiveness. Various therapeutic implications of the path model are described. Replications and extensions of the study with older, more experienced populations are necessary.

Key words

orgasm masturbation coitus 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abramson, P. R. (1977). Ethical requirements for research on human sexual behavior: From the perspective of participating subjects.J. Soc. Iss. 33: 184–192.Google Scholar
  2. Abramson, P. R., and Mosher, D. L. (1975). Development of a measure of negative attitudes toward masturbation.J. Consult. Psychol. 40: 485–490.Google Scholar
  3. Bentler, P. M. (1967). A scale for monosexual behavior. Mimeograph.Google Scholar
  4. Bentler, P. M. (1968). Heterosexual behavior assessment. II. Females.Behav. Res. Ther. 6: 27–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bentler, P. M. (1976). Multistructure statistical model applied to factor analysis.Mult. Behav. Res. 11: 3–25.Google Scholar
  6. Bentler, P. M. (1978). The interdependence of theory, methodology, and empirical data: Causal modeling as an approach to construct validation. In Kandel, D. B. (ed.),Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  7. Bentler, P. M., and Huba, G. J. (1979). Simple minitheories of love.J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 37: 124–130.Google Scholar
  8. Bunzl, M., and Mullen, S. (1974). A self report investigation of two types of myotonic response during sexual orgasm.J. Sex Res. 10: 10–20.Google Scholar
  9. Butler, C. A. (1976). New data about female sexual response.J. Sex. Mar. Ther. 2: 40–46.Google Scholar
  10. Eysenck, H. J. (1976).Sex and Personality University of Texas Press, Austin.Google Scholar
  11. Eysenck, H. J., and Eysenck, S. B. G. (1964).The Eysenck Personality Inventory University of London Press, London.Google Scholar
  12. Fisher, S. (1973).The Female Orgasm Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Freud, S. (1938). Three contributions to the theory of sex. In Brill, A. A. (ed.),The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud Modern Library, New York, pp. 553–629.Google Scholar
  14. Jöreskog, K. G., and Sörbom, D. (1976).LISREL III: Users Guide National Educational Resources, Chicago.Google Scholar
  15. Kaplan, H. S. (1974).The New Sex Therapy Brunner/Mazel, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Masters, W. H., and Johnson, V. E. (1966).Human Sexual Response Little, Brown, Boston.Google Scholar
  17. Mischel, W. (1968).Personality and Assessment Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Moore, B. (1961). Frigidity in women — Panel report.J. Am. Psychoan. Assoc. 9: 571–584.Google Scholar
  19. Robertiello, R. C. (1970). The “clitoral vs. vaginal orgasm” controversy and some of its ramifications.J. Sex Res. 6: 307–311.Google Scholar
  20. Ross, N. (1970). The primacy of genitality in the light of Dego psychology.J. Am. Psychoan. Assoc. 18: 267–284.Google Scholar
  21. Singer, J., and Singer, I. (1972). Types of female orgasm.J. Sex Res. 8: 255–267.Google Scholar
  22. Woodward, J. A., and Bentler, P. M. (1978). A statistical lower bound to population reliability.Psychol. Bull. 85: 1323–1326.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. Bentler
    • 1
  • William H. PeelerJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations