Gender-based differences in body image dissatisfaction are not conclusive. In this study, we quantitatively examined the degree of body image and sexual dissatisfaction experienced by heterosexual, bisexual, and lesbian women, to determine whether body dissatisfaction can predict sexual dissatisfaction. Three hundred and fifty-four women completed an online survey measuring body and sexual dissatisfaction. No sexual orientation-based differences were observed in body or sexual dissatisfaction; however, body concerns were found to have less influence on sexual dissatisfaction in lesbian women compared to heterosexual and bisexual women. Standards of beauty remain constant among all women, yet removing themselves from the male gaze may be interpreted as a protective factor which shields women from expressing concern about their appearance during sexual activity. There is a widespread consensus that nearly all women feel the societal pressure of having an ideal female body Wolf, ; Wade and DiMaria,
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Psychological Development & Life Cycle
Photo: Gigi Kaeser. At the completion of this module, the participant will be able to identify developmental issues specific to LGBT people across the lifespan. Gays and lesbians largely go through the same developmental phases as their heterosexual counterparts. By age 2 or 3 children develop a stable gender identity , that is, a sense of being male or female. Gender role, that is, one's outward presentation and behavior as typically male or female, continues to develop during preschool years and is actively regulated by family members as well as peers.
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