Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 405–423

Models of female orgasm

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

DOI: 10.1007/BF01541197

Cite this article as:
Bentler, P.M. & Peeler, W.H. Arch Sex Behav (1979) 8: 405. doi:10.1007/BF01541197


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 

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

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