Communication studies about sex: Implications for relationships, health, culture, and identity. A review



Palabras clave:

Constitutive communication theory, Discourse, Family communication, Health communication, Heteronormativity, Interpersonal comunication, Media studies, Methodology, Online sexuality, Practical theory, Queer theory, Sex as communication, Sex positivity, Sexuality, Typology development


This article features a review of communication scholarship about sex from the past two decades (2000-2020). A typographic analysis of relevant research reveals 11 primary topic areas related to how interpersonal sexual communication is commonly researched in communication studies. Six of these topic areas are relationship-oriented in nature: flirting and initiation; pleasure and desire; sexual expectations; relational and sexual satisfaction; communication after sex; and negative aspects of sex and sexuality. Three of the topics are health-oriented in nature: sex education, especially in consideration of how parent-child talk happens in families; negotiation of safe sex practices; and sexual dysfunction. Finally, two of the topics are cultural in nature: social factors and influences; and media influences and representations. Scholarship is also reviewed in terms of theoretical commitments, with most research following sociopsychological or critical traditions but with a noteworthy number also embracing sociocultural or biological paradigms. Based on these observations, five directions are offered for future research: supporting programs of interpersonal sex research; advancing and/or creating methods related to communication sex research; eliminating heteronormativity; considering the practical aspects of sex research; and, perhaps most importantly, theorizing sex as communication.


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Cómo citar

Manning, J. (2021). Communication studies about sex: Implications for relationships, health, culture, and identity. A review. Profesional De La información Information Professional, 30(1).



Artí­culos de revisión / Review articles