Body satisfaction, sexual self-schemas and subjective well-being in women

Body Image. 2009 Jan;6(1):37-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2008.08.002. Epub 2008 Nov 7.


The objectification of women's bodies in western culture creates special emphasis on women's representations of embodied aspects of themselves. I argue that women's satisfaction with their bodies is likely to have particularly strong implications for other embodied aspects of self: in this case, representations of their sexual selves. This paper examines the relationships between women's body satisfaction, their sexual self-schemas, and components of subjective well-being in a sample of 91 Australian women aged between 18 and 68. Body satisfaction and dimensions of women's actual sexual self-schemas predicted satisfaction with life, positive and negative affect. The relationships between body satisfaction and both positive affect and satisfaction with life were partially mediated by the positive dimensions of sexual self-schemas. This finding suggests that at least some of the negative consequences associated with body dissatisfaction are due to the negative implications of body dissatisfaction for women's beliefs about their sexual selves.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Body Image*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Concept*
  • Sexuality*