Advice-giving in magazine articles on great sex: A discourse analysis

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Lawless, Shannon
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University of Guelph

This study employed discourse analysis to gain an in-depth understanding of how messages of advice about great sex are constructed in men's and women's magazines, and how these messages construct identities for men and women in relationships. Data were comprised of 12 articles from men's and women's magazines from February 2008. The analysis identified how discursive devices such as the imperative verb tense, lists, and category entitlements work in conjunction with the sequential organization of the advice and articles. Gendered constructions included: women's need for more sexual knowledge, the effect of cognitive inhibitions on women, social influences on women's arousal, and men' s reluctance to engage in sexual communication. In these constructions it was noted that typical sexual scripts were identified, but the sexual advice offered often refuted such scripts. Findings are discussed in relation to clinical applications and previous research on great sex, sexual scripts and models of arousal.

messages of advice, great sex, men's magazines, women's magazines, construct identities, relationships