The role of assertiveness in female sexuality: a comparative study between sexually assertive and sexually nonassertive women

J Sex Marital Ther. Fall 1991;17(3):183-90. doi: 10.1080/00926239108404342.


To examine the role of assertiveness in female sexuality, a nonclinical population of married women (ages 18-31 years) were stratified as above or below the median score (73) on sexual assertiveness, as measured by the Hurlbert Index of Sexual Assertiveness (HISA), and matched accordingly for demographics, resulting in two samples: sexually assertive and sexually nonassertive, each group consisting of 50 women. Comparative assessments were made between the two matched samples on frequency of sexual activity, number of orgasms, subjective sexual desire, and both marital and sexual satisfaction. The t-test was used to test the equality of means between samples. Pearson's r was used for correlational data. ANOVA methods were employed to examine race, religion, and employment status. Using t-test, significant differences between the two groups appeared on all five measures. Sexually assertive women reported higher frequencies of sexual activity and orgasms, rated themselves as having greater subjective sexual desire, and reported greater marital and sexual satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Assertiveness*
  • Communication
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marriage / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Role*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women / psychology*