Sexual Satisfaction and Pregnancy Intentions among Married and Cohabiting Women in the U.S.: Variations by Race and Ethnicity

Stacy Tiemeyer, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Larry Gibbs, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Julia McQuillan, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Karina M. Shreffler, Oklahoma State University
Arthur Greil, Alfred University

Changes in union formation patterns in the United States suggest that on many indices, cohabitors are now more marriage-like than in prior decades. Having sex and children occurs in cohabiting and married relationships, yet the implications for differences in sexual satisfaction are unclear. Further, little is known about sexual satisfaction and race/ethnicity variations. Guided by the Social-Cognitive model of fertility intentions, we analyze data from the 2,829 cohabiting and married women in the U.S. National Survey of Fertility Barriers, we explore the relationships between union statuses, pregnancy intentions, sexual satisfaction and variations by race/ethnicity. Results indicate that white cohabiting and married Hispanic women report higher levels of sexual satisfaction after adjusting for relationship quality and psychological wellbeing. Union status matters very little for predicting sexual satisfaction among Black women. Hispanic and Black surgically sterile women report lower levels of sexual satisfaction compared to women who are trying to get pregnant.

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Presented in Session 17: Sex, Fertility, and Well-Being