Date of Thesis

5-10-2013

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Women's and Gender Studies

First Advisor

Coralynn Davis

Abstract

Using an epistemological and feminist lens, this thesis analyzes the political and social forces that actively construct both knowledge and ignorance around female sexual pleasure. It draws from interviews and a focus group, all conducted at Bucknell Unviersity to explore the journeys that women take to gain knowledge about sexual pleasure, and how the sources and cultural mores that women in the twenty-first century rely on or go up against in order to gain such knowledge are often limited, unauthorized or phallocentric. This aids in the construction and perpetuation of ignorance. This thesis looks at how women feel shame or enact self-censorship, regardless of their assertion of knowledge concerning their sexual appetites, which results in consequential ambivalence. For this reason, it concludes that more informed and educational conversations between peers, parents and partners need to take place. These conversations will help to ignite change and to raise awareness about the knowledge and ignorance surrounding female sexual pleasure, which would allow for more pleasurable experiences to take place generally and with a brief over view on Bucknell's campus specifically.

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