Gender Differences in Self‐Serving Attributions About Sexual Experiences

Anne Maass, Chiara Volpato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two studies investigated sex differences in attributions about sexual experiences. Subjects were asked to provide causal explanations for satisfying and unsatisfying past experiences. Men were expected to display a greater self‐serving bias than women. This hypothesis was supported for unsatisfying but not for satisfying experiences. In both experiments, males were found to blame their partners more for unsatisfying experiences than females. Males used self‐serving attributions, assigning more responsibility to the partner than to themselves (Experiment I), whereas women displayed self‐derogatory attributions, attributing negative outcomes more to themselves than to their partners (Experiment II). Furthermore, self‐derogatory attribution patterns were correlated with unsatisfactory sexual histories in women but not in men. Implications for the treatment of sexual dysfunctions via reattribution training are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-542
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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