A Cross-Cultural Study of Midlife Relational and Sexual Health: Comparing Ukraine to the U.S. and Turkey

Abstract

We examined how relational and sexual health in Ukraine compares to relational and sexual health in the United States (U.S.) and Turkey. Given these countries’ differences in cultural orientation, religion, and gender attitudes, reference group theory suggests that individuals will adopt group norms and therefore differ across countries. Married midlife adults ages 35–60 years old (United States n = 315, 50.8% female participants; Ukraine n = 322, 46.3% female participants; Turkey n = 563, 38.9% female participants,) completed an Internet survey about relational and sexual health. Ukrainian adults were less satisfied with their relationships, more satisfied with their sexual communication, kissed less, had oral and vaginal sex more frequently, and were more judging of sexual experiences than U.S. adults. However, Ukrainian adults were more satisfied with their relationships, had more frequent vaginal sex, were less judging of sexual experiences, and reported more sexual desire than Turkish adults. These findings suggest that specific cultural features may differentially contribute to cross-cultural differences and demonstrate the important role of culture in understanding relational and sexual health.

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Katia Serduk—Retirement, Kyiv Taras Shevchenko University.

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Leavitt, C.E., Lefkowitz, E.S., Akyil, Y. et al. A Cross-Cultural Study of Midlife Relational and Sexual Health: Comparing Ukraine to the U.S. and Turkey. Sexuality & Culture 24, 649–670 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-019-09654-y

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Keywords

  • Cross-cultural
  • Sex
  • Oral sex
  • Kissing
  • Sexual desire