Dr. Devon Hensel recently published the article, “Sexual Modesty in Sexual Expression and Experience: A Scoping Review, 2000 – 2021” in The Journal of Sex Research.
Sexual modesty is the social, cultural, interpersonal, and psychological systems – defined by the tenets of Script Theory – that regulate individuals’ sexual expression and experience at the social, legal, and interpersonal boundaries of acceptable/not-acceptable, private/public, and personal/social. Almost all aspects of sexual expression and experience are touched by the pervasive modesty standards for sexual communication, sexual display, sexual relations, and sexual behaviors. Sexual modesty influences an array of sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Many aspects of sexual modesty are enforced by legal as well as social, cultural, and religious proscriptions, including social shaming and ostracism as well as corporal and capital punishments. The purpose of this paper is to summarize a diverse literature related to sexual modesty from the years 2000 to 2021 in order to clarify its role in sexual health and sexual wellbeing and to identify directions for new research.
Devon J. Hensel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPIU and Associate Research Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University of Medicine