Pregnancy, Women -- Psychology, Women -- Sexual behavior
Forty-four pregnant women were examined to determine how individual differences in sex-role orientation, as assessed by the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, were related to continued sexual interest, activity, and satisfaction in pregnancy. Subjects were further examined to determine the effects of sex-role identity upon third trimester anxiety levels as assessed by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, upon physical experience of pregnancy, upon emotional response to pregnancy, and upon labor and delivery records. Subjects were examined periodically in the third trimester of pregnancy to determine current levels of functioning as well as to acquire retrospective prepregnancy and first and second trimester data. As predicted, androgynous women were found to demonstrate a significantly superior level of sexual adjustment throughout the pregnancy period, F (3, 38) = 3.132, p< .037. Levels of adjustment for masculine, feminine, and undifferentiated women were also found to be in the predicted direction. Androgynous women were further found to demonstrate a unique pattern of sexual response to pregnancy. Significant effects for stage of pregnancy were also found in terms of both sexual adjustment, F (4, 152) = 28.354, p< .0001, and physical response to pregnancy, F (4, 156) = 3.825, p,.005. Hypotheses regarding sex-role orientation and emotional response to pregnancy, anxiety levels in the thirst trimester, and labor and delivery records were not supported. Although scores in these areas were in the predicted direction, differences did not reach significant levels. The hypothesis concerning sex-role effects upon physical response to pregnancy was contradicted, but not to significant levels. Results are discussed in terms of Bem's conceptualizations of sex-role identities and previous findings of studies of sexual behavior in pregnancy. Findings regarding the familial origins of the different sex-role groups are also explored.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Diebel, Anne H., "Adaptation to Pregnancy as a Function of Sex-Role" (1980). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 478.