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Seema Buksh, Psy.D. is a 2019 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Dana Waters, Psy.D., ABPP, Committee Chair

William Heusler, Psy.D., Committee Member

Lori Brotto, Ph.D., Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

Cultural beliefs and values play a significant role in the conceptualization, expression, and experience of sexual desire and functioning. Previous studies have found higher mainstream acculturation was associated with higher sexual desire and arousal. Many of these studies have also linked the cultural effects on sexual functioning to culture-differences in sexual conservatism. Within South Asian culture there is a propensity towards sexual conservatism, especially in relation to female sexual desire, yet research with regards to sexual desire and South Asian women is absent from the literature. Given the dearth of research related to this topic, further research in this area is warranted. This study used the Vancouver Index of Acculturation (VIA) and the Sexual Desire Inventory-2 (SDI-2) to investigate the relationship between acculturation to mainstream (Canadian) culture and sexual desire and enculturation to heritage (South Asian) culture and sexual desire in South Asian females living in BC. Results of this study found a positive relationship between acculturation to mainstream culture and sexual desire. No evidence of a significant relationship between enculturation to heritage culture and sexual desire was reported. Exploratory analysis of demographic factors found that as age increased acculturation scores decreased; parents and pregnant women reported higher enculturation and lower acculturation scores; non-parents scored higher on sexual desire; married participants reported lower acculturation scores, and participants in a relationship (but not married) reported the highest levels of sexual desire. Moreover, participants who identified as having Hindu or Islamic belief systems reported lower average solitary sexual desire scores than participants from other spirituality/religious groups. Finally, there were small positive correlations regarding those who agreed with statements related to female sexuality and their VIA and SDI-2 scores. Keeping in mind that this study was the first to explore sexual desire and South Asian women, findings from this study may further build on our understanding of South Asian female sexual desire as well as assist in supporting the sexual health of South Asian women. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA http://aura.antioch.edu/ and OhioLink ETD Center https://etd.ohiolink.edu/etd.

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Seema Buksh, Psy.D., 2019

ORCID Scholar ID # 0000-0002-1512-5290

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