Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 1466–1489 | Cite as

Who’s Getting the Best Sex? A Comparison by Sexual Orientation

  • Lacey J. Ritter
  • Hannah R. MorrisEmail author
  • David Knox
Original Paper


This study examined the difference in sexual satisfaction between sexual minority and heterosexual college students testing the mediation effects of institutional affiliations and interpersonal relationships. A convenience sample of 280 college sociology students completed a 47-item Internet questionnaire, including self-reports on sexual satisfaction and sexual behaviors/activities. Data on 193 heterosexuals and 87 sexual minority respondents were analyzed using regression to test for differences in reported levels of sexual satisfaction by sexual orientation. Results revealed that sexual minority undergraduates reported lower sexual satisfaction than heterosexual undergraduates. This difference persisted when controlling for sex, race, education, and SES. Mediation analyses found support for the hypothesis that institutional affiliations and interpersonal relationships have an effect on this association. Previous researchers have suggested that sexual minority relationships exist in a context of heterosexism, suppression, stigmatization, prejudice, discrimination and violence which results in lower relationship quality. Such an impact on minority couples’ satisfaction may spill over into lower sexual satisfaction.


Sexual orientation Sexual satisfaction College students Sexual minorities 


Compliance and Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they do not have any conflicts of interest with this project.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. In addition, this project was approved by the university IRB prior to beginning the study.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Informed consent was established prior to beginning the survey. A statement was provided before questions were presented that detailed the goal of the study, the participant’s ability to stop the survey at any time, who to contact if the participant had any questions, and that by proceeding with the survey the participant agreed that they were over the age of 18.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentWingate UniversityWingateUSA
  2. 2.Sociology DepartmentEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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