Intergenerational processes of sexual agency and sexual satisfaction with parent-youth dyads, moderated by intersecting identities

December 2023
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To date, an insufficient amount of research takes a contemporary stance towards youth (operationalized as adolescence and early emerging adulthood) sexuality by viewing sexual exploration as a normative, ethical, and foundational imperative for developing satisfying and healthy sexual relationships in adulthood (Bay-Cheng, 2019; Halpern, 2023). Despite youth sexual development at the intersection of family and broader socio-cultural systems (Kaestle et al., 2021), familial and sociocultural influences on youth sexual agency and sexual satisfaction have been predominantly examined from single-axis viewpoints. Thus, there is a profound need for these constructs to be explored within a feminist-informed family systems framework. This study examined sexual agency, sexual satisfaction, and intersecting identities using a sample from the German Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics (pairfam; Brüderl et al., 2022; Huinink et al., 2011). An actor-partner interdependence moderation model (Garcia et al., 2015; Kenny et al., 2006) and latent structural equation modeling (Klein & Moosbrugger, 2000; Maslowsky et al., 2014) was utilized to examine how the latent moderating variable of social class impacts the strength and direction of the relationship between sexual agency and sexual satisfaction within parent-youth dyads. Understanding the relationship between intersecting identities, intergenerational processes, sexual agency, and sexual satisfaction could inform specific interventions for parents and youth. Examining positive facets of sexual well-being (i.e., sexual agency and sexual satisfaction) may counterintuitively yield insight into preventative measures against sexual risk (Harden, 2014). Finally, clinical implications and future steps were considered.

Dyadic sexual agency