Culture and Sexual Self-Disclosure in Intimate Relationships


  • Nu Tang
  • Lisamarie Bensman
  • Elaine Hatfield


Sexual self-disclosure is one of the most intimate forms of self-disclosure. Yet, there is surprisingly little research on this topic compared to the voluminous research that exists on self-disclosure (in general). This is particularly surprising since sexual self-disclosure has been found to be correlated with sexual and marital satisfaction (Byers & Demmons, 2010). Conversations about sex have also been found to be critical in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, expressing sexual consent, and sexual desires and satisfaction (Faulkner & Lannutti, 2010). Nor have scholars investigated the impact of culture on people’s willingness to engage in sexual self-disclosure. In this paper, we will review current theorizing as to the extent to which culture and gender might be expected to influence young people’s willingness to sexually self-disclose, and suggest possible directions that future research might take.