Gender-based sexual roles: A mixed methods study in Iranian families

Hasan Eftekhar, Ali Montazeri, Alireza Nikbakht Nasrabadi, Saharnaz Nedjat, Yousef Karimi, Setareh Homami


Background: Gender role attitudes toward sexual matters may define suitable and appropriate roles for men and women during a sexual relationship. This study aimed to explore and assess gender-based sexual roles in Iranian families.
Materials and Methods: This was an exploratory mixed methods study in which perceptions and experiences of 21 adult Iranian participants about gender-based sexual roles have been explored in three provinces of Iran in 2010-2011, to generate items for
developing a culture-oriented instrument to assess gender role attitudes. The developed and validated instrument, then, was applied to 390 individuals of general population of Tehran,Iran in 2012.
Results: In content analysis of the qualitative phase data, four categories emerged as the main gender-based sexual roles: Decision making, relationships, care, and supervision and control. After passing the stages of item reduction, seven items remained for the instrument. In the quantitative phase, results showed thatmost of the participants (78.9%) believed in shared sexual roles forboth genders. Consideration of a sexual role as “entirely masculine” or “preferably masculine” was the second prevalent attitude in 71.43% of gender-based sexual roles, whereas “entirely” or “preferably feminine role” was the second next most dominant attitude (14.28%).
Conclusions: The results of the present study have revealed some new gender-based sexual roles within Iranian families; which may be applicable to show the capacity for achieving some domains of reproductive rights in Iran.
Key words: Key words: Attitude, gender role, Iran, sexuality

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