Madres e Hijas Mexicanas: Cultural Transmission of the Sexual Pleasure Gender Gap

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Rebecca Overmyer-Velazquez


Despite recent shifts toward female sexual liberation and feminism, statistics indicate that orgasms, sexual self esteem, communication with sexual partner, and recognition of arousal are significantly less for women than for men. Moreover, women are measured to be more susceptible to sexual shame and erotic plasticity. Which is how sexual attitudes and behavior are shaped by society and culture. Women are often culturally judged for their sexuality and are not taught what their body does and needs to be sexually satisfied. Sex education emphasizes consent, the reproductive system, contraceptives, and sexually transmitted diseases. Consequently the sexual script ignores female arousal and pleasure. Women are often ignorant that all orgasms are clitoral and to occur blood flow is necessary to engorge the clitoris. Women do not have the identifiers men do of “boner”, “hard”, or “erection”.

Traditional sexual education happens at schools and at home, and children’s attitudes and behaviors often align with that of their parents. Studies have not evaluated how Mexican female sexual values are inherited across generations and impact sexual values. This study was conducted to understand how sexual education received from family influences cisgender mothers as to how to sexually educate their children. Participants included ten female mothers, born and raised in various states of Mexico all living in urban environments, differing in socioeconomic status, and ranging from 25 to 83 years of age. Results reveal that the mothers consistently received less sexual education than they provided for their children and refraining from promiscuity remains a central sexual value. This supports the culture of attaching sexual activity to feminine worth. Additionally, the sexual education these Mexican mothers both received and gave totally ignores sexual pleasure and the anatomy of external female genitalia.


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