Factors Related to Female Autoerotic Stimulation

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Running head: FACTORS RELATED TO FEMALE AUTOEROTIC STIMULATION

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Factors Related to Female Autoerotic Stimulation Lorena Olvera Moreno Widener University

FACTORS RELATED TO FEMALE AUTOEROTIC STIMULATION Autoeroticism is an activity related to the self, it can consist of different activities from sexual fantasies, erotic dreams, body caresses and self-masturbation (Yarber, Sayad, & Strong, 2010). The etymology of the word masturbation has an uncertain origin; however, one of the most common etymologies comes from the latin manstuprare. Manstuprare is formed by two parts: manus (hand) plus stuprare (oneself) (Harper, 2012). As a result, masturbation only includes the use of the hand. Since in this essay we are going to talk about different kinds of autoeroticism, autoerotic stimulation is more inclusive. Female autoerotic stimulation can be studied from different perspectives. A possible perspective is analyzing the aspects of female sexuality that affect or decrease the frequency or quality in this kind of stimulation. Another

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possibility is based on the motivations or reasons that women who practice this experience state. Therefore, there are four aspects that can be related to female autoerotic stimulation: anatomical location of genitals, education, social conditioning and sexual background. The anatomical location of genitals can interfere in female autoerotic stimulation because they are not located in a place as visible as the penis. The vulva or external female genitals consist of the mons pubis, the clitoris, the labia majora and the labia minora (Yarber et al., 2010). The mons pubis, in adult life is covered by pubic hair which obstructs the view of the vulva in standing or lying down position. In addition, the clitoris is covered by a piece of skin called clitoral hood while is not enlarged (Yarber et al., 2010). These anatomical parts impede the women from having a wider vision of her genitals, thus they are unable to distinguish between the aroused state in comparison to their basal state; therefore, the possible knowledge and understanding about her body is reduced. Secondly, the social conditioning can directly affect the frequency of self-erotic stimulation in women in contrast with men. Many surveys, for instance Alfred Kinsey (1953), L.

FACTORS RELATED TO FEMALE AUTOEROTIC STIMULATION Elliot and C. Brantley (1997), and E. Laumann, J. Gagnon, R. Michael and S. Michael (1994) indicate that the gender differences in masturbation are significant (as cited in Yarber et al., 2010). According to Alfred Kinsey survey (1953) 92% of men and 58% of women practice masturbation (as cited in Yarber et al., 2010). Similarly, L. Elliot and C. Brantley (1997) found that 50% of college men masturbate against 31% of college women (as cited in Yarber et al., 2010). Likewise, E. Laumann et al. (1994) found that 42% of women had masturbated the last year against 62% of men (as cited in Yarber et al., 2010).

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The differences in frequency of masturbation between genders have a social origin. Kelly James (2011) explains that “sexual pleasure is socially constructed [and that] our experience of sexual pleasure reflects values, beliefs, and standards” (p. 33). The way people make decisions about sexuality and the origin of those values and beliefs come from media sources, peer groups, and family contexts (James, 2011). Some years ago the focus was on the sexual acts, some of which were seen as morally corrupt; nowadays, society focuses on who practices the act (Fischer, 2011). Then, morality becomes a type of social control which is socially and historically constructed mainly by men. When men realized their role in reproduction, they started to control women’s sexuality preventing premarital sex and preventing women from knowing their bodies and finding the key to pleasure; the result: the Good girl-Wife/Mother who has low sexual interest (Crane, B. & Crane-Seeber, J., 2003). Moreover, morality is...
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