What would Christian Grey say When it comes to sex, women should be taking charge (but only if you're under 29)
20:48 GMT, 4 October 2012
Adhering to traditional gender roles during sex can make women less comfortable and in turn, possibly less safe in the bedroom, according to researchers from Yale University.
Gender roles and norms play a crucial role in sexual behaviour between women and men and involve a component of power – with beliefs that in the U.S. women should be sexually submissive, while men be dominant.
This dynamic can have a large effect on 'greater sexual attitudes, and findings showed that the more young female adults endorsed traditional power dynamics, they were less likely
to be sexual confident and competent.
Gender roles: Findings showed that the more young female adults endorsed traditional power dynamics, they were less likely to be sexual confident and competent in the bedroom
After 357 women and 126 men, ages 18 to 29, all heterosexual and sexually active were recruited, researchers found that females didn't necessarily believe men should be more dominate in sexual situations, despite that being the case.
Lisa Rosenthal, who headed the study published in Sex Roles Journal of Research, had subjects respond to survey questions on their sexual confidence and sexual assertiveness in a private cubicle.
In the cubicles were bowls of free female condoms with a sign that read: 'Protect yourself and your partner. Please take some! Free Female Condoms.'
The young women who stuck to typical gender dynamics, allowing their male partners to dominate in the bedroom, were less likely to take the free female condoms.
'If men believe that men should dominate sexually, this may prevent [their female partners] from feeling open or comfortable discussing sexual behavior and protection… or asking questions about things they may not know,' which could dampen sexual confidence, wrote the researchers.
They added: 'For both women and men, the belief that men should dominate sexually could reduce interest in female condoms.
'[This is] because female condoms are meant to be a woman-centered source of protection and may be seen as violating the norm or belief that men should be in control of sexual situations'.
Researchers added: 'Although female condoms are an important woman-controlled source of protection, power-related beliefs may pose a challenge to their use'.