A Listening Guide Analysis of Eastern-Western Women’s Sexual-Self Concept
Although cross-cultural influences on human behavior have been the subject of many scholarly works, few studies have focused on the life experiences of women from hyphenated cultural identities and how these experiences inform a woman’s view of herself as a sexual being. In particular, the influence of cross-cultural experiences on women with combined Western and Eastern culture references, such as Israeli-Iranian women, is poorly understood. This study analyzed four interviews with second-generation Israeli-Iranian women who described how their sexual self-concepts evolved as a result of living between both cultures, in the “space of the hyphen.” I used the Listening Guide methodology to inform the interviews and the data analysis, which revealed the influence of family power, patriarchal social practices and the women’s desire to distinguish themselves from cultural norms. This paper is presented as a case study. It introduces multilayered views and processes associated with each woman’s outlook of her evolving sexual self-concept. I found that each woman’s sexual self-concept took into account her behaviors, cognitions and emotions that were developed during each life stage and also that it informed her sexual subjectivity. I briefly discuss the implications that the findings have for how the combination of Western and Eastern cultures influenced the women’s lives. I also discuss how the findings may assist academics, clinicians, policy makers and healthcare professionals in developing innovative interventions in which gender roles and sexual self-concept are addressed.