CORDIS - EU research results
CORDIS

Exploring Women’s Sexual Pleasure Deficit

Project description

Why women have a sexual pleasure deficit

Sexual pleasure is an innate component of human sexuality. Throughout history, women's sexuality has been largely neglected. What is more, surveys suggest that women have less pleasurable sexual experiences than men. The EU-funded PleasDef project aims to understand how to reduce the pleasure gap by exploring the concept of entitlement to pleasure. As men possess more power in society, research shows that men feel more entitled to privileges than women. An additional research goal of the project aims to challenge the pleasure deficit for the first time through an intervention that strives to enhance women’s sexual health.

Objective

Sexual pleasure is seen as the most important goal of nonreproductive sexual activity and has been recognized as integral to sexual health. When it comes to sexual pleasure, however, women seem to be less likely to have sexual pleasurable experiences than men. Given that women’s sexuality has been largely neglected in research, the present project aims to understand how to reduce the pleasure gap through an investigation into the concept of entitlement to pleasure. In line with the fact that men possess more power in society, research shows that men also feel more entitled to privileges than women. The project aims to examine those gendered patterns in the domain of sexual pleasure. The first work package will address the lack of current definitions regarding entitlement to sexual pleasure. In a further work package we will determine experimentally what contributes to the maintenance of women’s sexual pleasure deficit (e.g. fear of social stigma). A further research goal of the project is to challenge the pleasure deficit for the first time through an intervention that aims to enhance women’s sexual health. The proposed project continues the development of my expertise in the areas of gender, sexuality, and power. During my outgoing phase the University of Michigan and its Psychological Department will provide me with a wide range of training opportunities. I will especially expand my expertise in social-psychological methods. Moreover, my expertise on women and gender issues will be broadened through the close institutional relations with the Women’s studies department at Michigan. Given that the newly acquired skills will be transferred back to my European host institution, the internationally renowned Institute for Sex Research in Hamburg/Germany, the fellowship will essentially contribute to my career development and enable me to become one of the leading researchers on women’s sexuality in Europe.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAETSKLINIKUM HAMBURG-EPPENDORF
Net EU contribution
€ 246 669,12
Address
Martinistrasse 52
20251 Hamburg
Germany

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Region
Hamburg Hamburg Hamburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 246 669,12

Partners (1)