The Association of Body Positivity with Sexual Satisfaction Through the Resistance of Thin Ideal Internalization and Positive Body Image in Young Heterosexual Women
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Research indicate that a large number (15.2% - 50.4%) of young women are not fully satisfied with their sex life, while sexual satisfaction is an important factor for the overall quality of life. Previous research indicated that the resistance of thin-ideal internalization was indirectly related to sexual satisfaction through a more positive body image. This study explores body positivity (i.e. a contra movement against the current Western based beauty standard) and thin-ideal internalization as factors preceding the established association between positive body image and sexual satisfaction. In a cross-sectional design, 1683 Dutch females completed an online survey measuring body positivity (BPV-1), thin-ideal internalization (SATAQ-4), body appreciation (BAS-2) and sexual satisfaction (NSSS-S). A simple regression analyses was conducted to show the relationship between the different constructs. A multiple regression analyses was then conducted revealing that higher levels of body positivity in the media were related to less thin-ideal internalization, a more positive body image, and greater sexual satisfaction. A direct effect of body positivity on sexual satisfaction was also found. These findings indicate that more exposure to body positivity in the media, including women of all shapes and sizes, could result in less thin-ideal internalization and a more positive body image, thus shifting away from the current Western ideal beauty standard resulting in more sexual satisfaction in young women.