Straight college students tend to report more satisfying sex than lesbian, gay, and bisexual students

A survey of college students has found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) undergraduates tend to report having lower levels of sexual satisfaction than heterosexual undergraduates.

The study, authored by Lacey J. Ritter of Wingate University and Hannah R. Morris and David Knox of East Carolina University, was recently published online in the journal Sexuality & Culture.

“Dr. Lacey Ritter has studied and been interested in sexualities research since beginning her training at the University of Northern Iowa and has had the privilege of publishing research papers on sexual minorities and health outcomes of various ages,” the researchers told PsyPost.

“This particular project was another opportunity to continue a primary research focus. Ms. Morris has had an interest in studying gender and sexuality since starting her undergraduate career at East Carolina University. Her primary interest with this project was to help add to the growing body of research on sexual minorities and their sexual experiences and to help sexual minorities gain better representation in the world of academia.”

The study surveyed 497 individuals regarding their sexual orientation, sexual satisfaction, political ideology, religious affiliation, relationship status, and other factors.

“For the college students in our sample, heterosexual students reported that they were more sexually satisfied than our sexual minority (LGB) students,” the researchers explained. “The lower levels for sexual minority students may be tied to minority stress, including internalized homophobia and sexual identity discrimination experiences.”

On a 10 point scale, LGB respondents reported an average sexual satisfaction score of 7.06, while heterosexual respondents reported an average sexual satisfaction score of 7.81. Religious and political affiliations, as well as relationship status, had an effect on this association.

The study, like all research, has limitations.

“The sample size of the study is quite small, since we focused on college students, so generalizing to larger groups was difficult. We would like to see how larger populations of students feel about their sexual satisfaction, and how this changes over time for these students,” the researchers said.

“It is always difficult to measure differences within sexual minority groups as well, since they are a small percentage of the larger population, so future research can focus more on this subset of the population. We are also interested in what, specifically, it is about sexual satisfaction that our students feel matters and how this may differ by sexual orientation.”

“Understanding differences in sexual satisfaction for this population is important, as it can have implications for their relationship outcomes and health behaviors, both during their college years and beyond,” the researchers added.

The study was titled: “Who’s Getting the Best Sex? A Comparison by Sexual Orientation“.