International Mobility, Erotic Plasticity and Eastern European Migrations.


  • Martina Cvajner Trento University



Online Shopping, Perceived Benefits, Purchase Intention, Innovativeness, Malaysia


When individuals cross a border and settle in a new social environment, they become migrants. People come here to work, improve the family conditions, restore a lost status. They work, send remittances, strive to adjust their legal status, learn how to cope with a new way of living. But they also make new friends, new lovers, reunite families. They also encounter new sexual cultures, new erotic narratives and norms. Migration is consequently a good test for contemporary theories of erotic plasticity. Are adult migrants, that have acquired and practised for decades a given erotic habitus, able to change it in depth during emigration? And which are, if any, the dimensions of these change?  Eastern European women pioneers in Italy – women who have migrated alone, outside of any recruitment program, to areas with no previous history of immigration from their lands – provide a fascinating case of sexual change.

Author Biography

Martina Cvajner, Trento University

Department of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences



Baumeister FR. (2000) Gender differences in erotic plasticity: the female sex drive as socially flexible and responsive. Psychological Bulletin 126: 347-374.

Baumeister RF and Stillman T. (2006) Erotic plasticity: Nature, culture, gender, and sexuality. Sex and sexuality 1: 343-359.

Benuto L and Meana M. (2008) Acculturation and Sexuality: Investigating Gender Differences in Erotic Plasticity. The Journal of Sex Research 45: 217-224.

Carling J, Menjívar C and Schmalzbauer L. (2012) Central Themes in the Study of Transnational Parenthood. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38: 191-217.

Cvajner M. (2019) Soviet Signoras. Personal and Collective Transformations in Migration Processes, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Donato K, Piya B and Jacobs A. (2014) The Double Disadvantage Reconsidered: Gender, Immigration, Marital Status, and Global Labor Force Participation in the 21st Century. International Migration Review 48: S335-S376.

Espiritu YL. (2001) "We Don't Sleep around like White Girls Do": Family, Culture, and Gender in Filipina American Lives. Signs 26: 415-440.

Gonzales-Lopez. (2005) Erotic Journeys: Mexican Immigrants and their Sex Lives, Berkeley: University of California Press.

Green A. (2014) Sexual Fields. Toward a Sociology of Collective Sexual Life, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Green IA. (2008) Erotic habitus: toward a sociology of desire. Theory and Society 37: 597-626.

Guetto R and Azzolini D. (2015) An Empirical Study of Status Exchange through Migrant/Native Marriages in Italy. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41: 2149-2172.

Hirsh JS. (2003) A courtship after marriage : sexuality and love in Mexican transnational families, Berkeley: California University Press.

Hofmann ET and Buckley CJ. (2013) Global Changes and Gendered Responses: The Feminization of Migration From Georgia. International Migration Review 47: 508-538.

Kinsey AC, Gebhard PH, Martin CE, et al. (1948) Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Bloomingdale: Indiana University Press.

Kon I and Riordan J. (1993) Sex and Russian society. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Laumann EO, Ellingson S, Mahay J, et al. (2005) The sexual organization of the city, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Mackay J. (2001) How does the United States compare with the rest of the world in human sexual behavior? Western Journal of Medicine 174: 429-433.

Malinowski B. (1927) Sex and repression in savage society, London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & co.

Merton RK. (1987) Three fragments from a sociologist's notebook: establishingbthe phenomenon, specified ignorance, and strategic research materials. Annual Review of Sociology: 1-28.

Mulhall J, King R, Glina S, et al. (2008) Importance of and Satisfaction with Sex Among Men and Women Worldwide: Results of the Global Better Sex Survey. The Journal of Sexual Medicine 5: 788-795.

Näre L. (2014) Moral encounters: drawing boundaries of class, sexuality and migrancy in paid domestic work. Ethnic and Racial Studies 37: 363-380.

Parrenas RS. (2015) Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work, second edition, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Piore MJ. (1979) Birds of passage. Migrant labor and industrial societies, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sciortino G. (2015) Immigration. In: Jones E and Pasquino G (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Italian Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 632-644.

Vianello FA. (2009) Migrando sole. Legami transnazionali tra Ucraina e Italia, Milano: FrancoAngeli.

Wellings K, Collumbien M, Slaymaker E, et al. (2006) Sexual behaviour in context: a global perspective. The LANCET 368: 1706-1728.




How to Cite

Cvajner, M. (2019). International Mobility, Erotic Plasticity and Eastern European Migrations. Migration Letters, 16(4), 513–520.