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    Sexual wellbeing and social class in Britain: an analysis of nationally representative survey data

    van Hooff, Jenny ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8735-8758 and Morris, Stephen ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6869-8933 (2021) Sexual wellbeing and social class in Britain: an analysis of nationally representative survey data. Sociological Research Online, 26 (2). pp. 288-308. ISSN 1360-7804

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    Sociological discussions of sexual practices are often abstracted out from material constraints, with sex understood to be a private, individual matter. In this article we use data from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3), to first investigate whether an association can be found between social class and high levels of sexual wellbeing, thus potentially calling into question the decoupling of material and class concerns from personal life. Second, our analysis builds on previous work that considered correlates of sexual fulfilment and wellbeing, but which has focused exclusively on low sexual functioning. Third, we argue that the measure of sexual function developed and utilised in Natsal-3 is more accurately described as sexual wellbeing, as it provides a composite assessment including relational factors, better suited to sociological analysis. Our findings demonstrate that respondents in managerial and professional occupations report greater odds of high sexual wellbeing, suggesting power and material resources play a role in the structuring of intimate life. We argue that the extension of social inequality into sexual practices is reflective of the significant impact class has on elements of everyday life.

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