Beliefs About Gender Predict Faking Orgasm in Heterosexual Women

Emily Harris*, Matthew Hornsey, Hannah F. Larsen, Fiona Barlow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The majority of women have faked an orgasm at least once in their lives. In the current study, we assessed how women's worldviews about gender relate to their faking orgasm behavior. A survey of 462 heterosexual women from the UK (Mage=38.38 years) found that those who espoused anti-feminist values-that is, those high in hostile sexism-had faked significantly more orgasms over their lifetime. In contrast, those who espoused ostensibly positive but restrictive ideas of gender relations-that is, those high in benevolent sexism-had faked significantly fewer orgasms over their lifetime. Furthermore, the more that women believed female orgasm was necessary for men's sexual gratification, the more likely they were to have faked an orgasm at least once in their lives compared to women who had never faked an orgasm. These effects were small to moderate and emerged after controlling for demographics, sexual history, ease of orgasm, and previously established psychological correlates of faking orgasm, including suspected partner infidelity and intrasexual competition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2419–2433
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


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