Communicating Pain Unseen: Addressing Health Outcomes in Sexual Activity for Women with Endometriosis
Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
Roughly 160 million women live with endometriosis, a chronic disease involving the uterine lining shedding on the outside of the uterus causing immense physical and emotional pain (Becker et al., 2020). One common symptom of endometriosis is dyspareunia, or painful sex (Ballard et al., 2008). This study aims to uncover how gender expectations from society impact women with endometriosis specifically in sexual encounters. Informed by the traditional sexual script theory and sexual script theory, the study examines how traditional gender norms might influence women’s prioritization of their own health needs as well as the physical, emotional, and relational health outcomes of such prioritization (Byers, 1996). To more closely explore these experiences, 90 posts from Reddit were coded and examined to identify the relationship between the script types (self, partner, or relationship) and the valence of physical, emotional, and relational health outcomes. Results indicate a significant prioritization of the self script. Additionally, the relationship among the prioritized script (self, partner, or relationship) and the positive and negative outcomes as related to physical, emotional, and relational health is nonsignificant. Nevertheless, the results highlight the physical, emotional, and relational barriers women face in their sexual health. Furthermore, additional analyses demonstrate a significant relationship among physical, emotional, and relational health variables as valence of health outcome shifts. Specifically, women’s physical and emotional health experiences are primarily negative in nature which ultimately highlights the important role communication plays in supporting women with endometriosis’ sexual health. Discussion, implications, and directions for future research follow.
Chronic Illness; Endometriosis; Health; Scripts; Women
Communication | Gender and Sexuality | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Wiese, Madison, "Communicating Pain Unseen: Addressing Health Outcomes in Sexual Activity for Women with Endometriosis" (2022). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4487.
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