The study also found that women much more critical of the look of their bodies than are men.
She added, “What we found in this study is that men generally feel positive about a variety of aspects of women's genitals including how they look, smell, taste and feel." [Science Daily]
Herbenick concluded, "Our study builds on previous research that demonstrates that the mind and body are highly connected in regard to sex. When women feel more positively about female genitals, they likely feel more relaxed in their own skin, more able to let go and thus more likely to experience pleasure and orgasm." [Science Daily]
The study found that women who have negative thoughts about female genitalia are less likely to have orgasms and are also less likely to have regular gynecological examiniations. The case is just the opposite for women who have positive thoughts about their genitalia.
Women who have just negative thoughts, according to Herbenick, have such feelings because of information portrayed in society (such as in advertisements for feminine-hygiene products) and from messages given to them by their parents earlier in their lives (such as “don’t touch yourselves down there”).
For additional information, check out the Globe and Mail News article “Women's genital self-esteem affects sex, health.”
Dr. Herbenick also has a website and blog titled “MySexProfessor.com.”
On the website, it states that its mission is "... to provide a forum for information and discussion about sexuality and sexual health topics. You won’t find porn here, but you will find lots of information about sex – fun stuff about sex, smart stuff about sex, and quirky stuff about sex."