Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

G. Tyler Lefevor


G. Tyler Lefevor


Renee V. Galliher


Maria Kleinstäuber


This study examined how various aspects of religiousness and sexuality were related to sexual satisfaction among conservatively religious sexual minorities and explored whether dispositional proneness to feeling shame changed these relationships. Analysis of survey data from 315 current and former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints revealed numerous factors that were related to sexual satisfaction. Sexual minorities who attended more religious services and who were more religiously committed were less sexually satisfied. This may be a result of the conflict a religious sexual minority individual experiences when engaging in same-sex sexual behavior due to stigmatizing religious rhetoric about their sexuality. Sexual minorities who concealed their sexual identities to a greater extent and who had more internalized negative beliefs about their sexuality were less sexually satisfied. This finding may be due to the ways that identity-related stress can influence biopsychosocial factors and pose a barrier to engaging in or enjoying sex. Shame-proneness was also related to less sexual satisfaction, and when participants experienced a high degree of shame-proneness, internalized negative beliefs about their sexuality were more strongly related to decreases in sexual satisfaction. This finding may be a result of the tendency for highly shame-prone individuals to feel shame more intensely, potentially causing internalized negative beliefs about sexuality to be more emotionally painful and difficult to navigate when engaging in same-sex sexual behavior. Considering these findings, I suggest that mental health professionals who work with religious sexual minorities screen for concerns about sexual satisfaction and assess their clients for shame-proneness, as it can exacerbate the effects of internalized stigma on sexual satisfaction.