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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-35

Gender-based sexual roles: A mixed methods study in Iranian families

1 Department of Health Education and Promotion, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Mental Health Research Group, Health Metrics Research Center, Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research, ACECR, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Knowledge Utilization Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5 Department of Educational Psychology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
6 Department of Reproductive Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran; Department of Public Health, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Setareh Homami
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Nosrat St., Tohid Sq., Tehran
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Source of Support: This research was fi nancially supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center of Gonabad University of Medical Sciences., Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 24554957

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Background: Gender role attitudes toward sexual matters may define suitable and appropriate roles for men and women during a sexual relationship. This study aimed to explore and assess gender-based sexual roles in Iranian families. Materials and Methods: This was an exploratory mixed methods study in which perceptions and experiences of 21 adult Iranian participants about gender-based sexual roles have been explored in three provinces of Iran in 2010-2011, to generate items for developing a culture-oriented instrument to assess gender role attitudes. The developed and validated instrument, then, was applied to 390 individuals of general population of Tehran, Iran in 2012. Results: In content analysis of the qualitative phase data, four categories emerged as the main gender-based sexual roles: Decision making, relationships, care, and supervision and control. After passing the stages of item reduction, seven items remained for the instrument. In the quantitative phase, results showed that most of the participants (78.9%) believed in shared sexual roles for both genders. Consideration of a sexual role as "entirely masculine" or "preferably masculine" was the second prevalent attitude in 71.43% of gender-based sexual roles, whereas "entirely" or "preferably feminine role" was the second next most dominant attitude (14.28%). Conclusions: The results of the present study have revealed some new gender-based sexual roles within Iranian families; which may be applicable to show the capacity for achieving some domains of reproductive rights in Iran.

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