Sexuality Research and Social Policy

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 25–40 | Cite as

Female sexual subjectivity and well-being: Comparing late adolescents with different sexual experiences

  • Sharon HorneEmail author
  • Melanie J. Zimmer-GembeckEmail author


We compared females(N = 449, age 16–20) with different patterns of sexual experiences (i.e., sexually inexperienced, sexually experienced noncoital, and sexually experienced coital with early, middle, or normative age of first sexual intercourse; experience/no experience with self-masturbation; experience/no experience with noncoital orgasmic responsiveness) on measures of well-being in the sexual domain. These measures included a multidimensional measure of female sexual subjectivity (i.e., sexual body-esteem, entitlement to pleasure, efficacy in achieving sexual pleasure, and sexual selfreflection) and two measures of sexual agency. Self-esteem and happiness were used as indicators of general well-being. Females with more sexual experience were higher in sexual subjectivity and sexual agency. There were few group differences in general well-being. Results have practical and policy implications for the design and implementation of sexuality education programs that supplement a focus on risk reduction with emphasis on the potential positive outcomes of sexual exploration.

Key words

noncoital sexual behavior sexual pleasure self-masturbation orgasm emerging adults 


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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyGriffith UniversityQLDAustralia

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