Rights or Obligations: The Extent to Which Sexual Desire and Gender Roles Determine Sexual Intimacy in Romantic Relationships

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The present study aims to investigate the relationship between traditional gender roles and the frequency of sexual intimacy within romantic relationships, considering sexual desire and societal norms and expectations. The study was conducted among a convenience sample of men and women in Israel. The survey included measures of sociodemographic information, traditional gender roles, sexual desire, perceived partner’s sexual desire, and frequency of engaging in sex. Findings suggest that men who embraced less traditional gender roles exhibit a greater synchronization between their own sexual desire and their perceived partner’s sexual desire, whereas women who embraced more traditional gender roles tend to rely more on their partners’ sexual desire in their frequency of sex. These results imply that men’s sexual desire plays a significant role in determining the frequency of sexual activity in romantic relationships, especially in relationships where traditional gender roles are more strongly embraced. Findings from the current study underscore the idea that the decision to engage in intimate acts may not solely hinge on individual sexual desire; rather, it operates within a broader context influenced by societal and cultural expectations. It is important to challenge societal norms to promote more balanced and equitable sexual dynamics in committed relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Early online date7 Feb 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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