Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Tara Emmers-Sommer

Second Committee Member

Natalie Pennington

Third Committee Member

Tara McManus

Fourth Committee Member

Melissa Carrion

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

File Format


File Size

904 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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