Maria, llena eres de gracia: An exploration of masturbation and marianismo among latinas



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The concept of female self-pleasure has long faced historical stigmatization, which has led women to experience guilt and shame (Davidson & Darling, 1988; Davidson et al., 2004; Rye & Meaney, 2007). The benefits of masturbation are plentiful (Bowman, 2014; Burri & Carvalheira, 2019; Carvalheira & Leal, 2013; Clifford, 1978; Das, 2007; Das et al., 2009). However, there is a dearth of research on Latinas’ perceptions and experience of masturbation, specifically when considering the concept of marianismo. Marianismo is the gendered values and expectations of Latinas rooted in colonization and Catholic values (Nuñez et al., 2016; Stolley & Koenig, 1997; Villarreal, 2021). The purpose of the present study was to fill the gaps in the literature by examining the relationship between marianismo and masturbation using the Marianismo Belief Scale (MBS; Castillo et al., 2010) and the Negative Attitudes Towards Masturbation Inventory (NATMI; Abramson & Mosher, 1975). We theorized that marianismo, which values virtue, chastity, and self-sacrifice, would decrease the frequency of masturbation in Latinas. A total of 150 participants participated in this research study. Participants were primarily recruited via social media. Findings indicated that masturbation guilt was positively correlated with the following marianismo subscales: Family, Virtuous and Chaste, Spirituality, and Silencing Self to Maintain Harmony. There was no direct relationship found between the five marianismo subscales and masturbation frequency; however, reported increases in experiences of masturbation-guilt were positively correlated with a decrease in masturbation frequency. In other words, it was found that Latinas who endorsed marianismo beliefs were more likely to experience masturbation-guilt and less likely to masturbate.



Psychology, General