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Feminism in the bedroom: An inclusive approach to measuring feminist self-identification and sexuality among sexually active women.

Julia Hussman, M.A. candidate New School for Social Research Association for Women in Psychology Conference 2010

Following Zucker (2004), the current research analyzes feminist selfidentification by distinguishing between three groups of women: selfidentified feminists, egalitarians (who reject the feminist label while endorsing feminist values), and non-feminists, in an attempt to disentangle feminist identities from labeling biases. Based on previous data supporting associations between feminism and positive aspects of sexual self-concepts (including sexual satisfaction, intrinsic motivations for engaging in sex, and condom-use self-efficacy), the present study aims to elaborate on this research under a feminist critical lens of gender inclusivity. Measures of condom-use self-efficacy employed by previous studies have been modified to include a wide range of safesex barriers (from STIs and HIV). Sexual protection was assessed according to participants preferred practice(s) of choice in order to measure self-efficacy in their initiation with a partner. Further, standardized instruments measuring sex have been altered to include but not limit the conceptions of sex to (heterosexual) intercourse. Preliminary results suggest that both self-identified feminists and egalitarians score higher on measures of sexual satisfaction, engage in sex/sexual activities according to higher levels of personal motivations, and are more efficacious in initiating sexual protection with a partner when compared to non-feminists. Implications of these findings will be explored within the greater context of present-day feminist identities and social constructions.