E. Sandra Byers

E. Sandra Byers
University of New Brunswick · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

185
Publications
106,113
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8,654
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1988 - present
University of New Brunswick
September 1973 - August 1978
West Virginia University
Description
  • Graduate student

Publications

Publications (185)
Article
Women with poorer body image tend to report lower sexual well-being; yet, minimal research has examined interpersonal factors affecting women's body image in the context of sexual activity. We examined women's perceptions of the influence of relationship and partner factors on their body image during sexual activity with their male partner. Semi-st...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined women’s perceptions of the impact of FM on a broad range of aspects of their sexual well-being as well as on their romantic and sexual relationship. Participants were 16 women diagnosed with FM currently in a romantic relationship living in North America who participated in a semi-structured interview. Inductive thematic analysi...
Article
Because many young adults do not consistently give and receive explicit consent in their sexual relationships, it is important to identify factors associated with sexual consent attitudes and behaviour. In this study, we assessed the extent to which sexual health education, sexual consent education, sexual attitudes, and perceptions of social norms...
Article
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Increasingly, affirmative consent – direct, unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity ( Craig & McKinley, 2015 ) – is the standard being adopted by educational institutions in North America ( Bennett, 2016 ). Yet, studies show that most individuals continue to communicate consent through nonresistance ( Jozkowski et al., 2014...
Article
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Researchers have suggested that asexuality, which has been conceptualized traditionally as a persistent lack of sexual attraction to others, may be more common among individuals with autism spectrum disorder than in the neurotypical population. However, no studies to date have considered how these individuals understand and conceptualize their sexu...
Article
In long-term care facilities where older adults may reside, negative attitudes about later life sexuality can result in restrictive facility policies and staff behaviors that suppress residents’ rights to sexual expression. No assessment instrument specifically focuses on the sexual behaviors of long-term care residents and existing measures of att...
Article
Sexual issues are common in couples who seek relationship therapy. However, few studies have examined the nature of the sexual issues reported by these couples and how these issues are addressed in relationship therapy. This study examined the nature of the sexual issues most often reported in 169 couples seeking relationship therapy, as well as th...
Article
Many young adults report poor sexual function, but research typically fails to consider relationship context and how problems might evolve over time. Research is needed to provide insights into how sexual problems are experienced across relationships, as well as the types of sexual function problems associated with various trajectories. We investig...
Article
School-based sexual health education plays a key role in providing young people with the information, motivation, and skills needed to enhance their sexual health. However, the extent and quality of sexual health education curricula varies across Canada. Though parents’ support is often considered when making curricular decisions, there is limited...
Article
Having a satisfying sex life is important to older adults. Thus, this study aimed to provide information about the sexual satisfaction of older adults in a relationship, using the Interpersonal Exchange Model of Sexual Satisfaction (IEMSS) as a theoretical framework. Participants were 187 sexually active individuals (98 men and 89 women) in a roman...
Article
Full-text available
Although many young adults are interested in mixed-gender threesomes (MGTs), little research has assessed attitudes toward them. Yet, MGTs offer a rare context to investigate how consensually nonmonogamous sexual encounters and involvement with same-sex others influence attitudes. Thus, by adopting sexual script theory as a framework, the current s...
Article
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Online sexual activities (OSA) refer to Internet-based activities, behaviours, and materials that are sexual in nature. Many young adults engage in OSA, but report doing so infrequently. Most OSA outcome research has focused on negative effects of only some types of OSA (e.g., viewing pornography online). The goal of this study was to enhance knowl...
Article
We used a mixed-method design to examine the attributions women in mixed-gender/sex relationships make for their partner’s perceived pornography use and whether such attributions covary with women’s relationship and sexual satisfaction. A final sample of 199 women completed measures of relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and their perce...
Article
Previous research indicates that relationship maintenance behaviours are linked to relationship satisfaction. This study investigated the extent to which six relationship maintenance behaviours and nine sexual maintenance behaviours contribute to relationship and sexual satisfaction in long-distance relationships (LDRs) and geographically close rel...
Article
This study examined the contribution of child maltreatment (CM) to trajectories of couples’ sexual well-being, and whether relationship satisfaction moderates these associations. Using a sample of 269 mixed-sex couples followed over one year, dyadic latent growth curve models showed both actor and partner effects. In terms of actor effects, women’s...
Article
Little is known about young people’s perceptions of and attitudes toward the coverage of sexual consent or their perceptions of the extent to which they have learned about sexual consent from various sources. Participants were undergraduate men ( n = 73) and women ( n = 128) between the ages of 18 and 29 ( M = 19.62, SD = 1.75) who completed a surv...
Article
Full-text available
Parents are an important source of sexual health information for adolescents, and quality parent–adolescent sexual communication has been linked to positive sexual health outcomes. We sought to enhance the limited information about parent–adolescent sexual communication in India. The participants were 78 mothers and 91 fathers of adolescents ages 1...
Article
Full-text available
Negative genital self-perceptions or female genital self-image (FGSI) is a prevalent concern for women. This is a significant problem in and of itself but also because it is associated with a variety of negative outcomes including less frequent sexual behavior, more negative cognitive-affective sexual responses, and poorer decision-making about gen...
Article
Introduction: It is unlikely that parents can have effective sexuality discussions with their adolescent if the adolescent is not responsive to their efforts. We evaluated young adolescents' intentions of being responsive to sexual communication with their mother and whether youths who were likely, ambivalent, or unlikely to be responsive differed...
Article
Full-text available
In this study we asked people about their hypothetical interest in experiencing being the other sex as a possible means to capture their implicit gender-related attitudes and assumptions. As such, we sought to identify the extent to which gender self-confidence, openness to experience, and conservative attitudes are associated with hypothetically h...
Article
Sexual fantasies, interests, and experiences are three important aspects of human sexual expression that likely are related yet distinct. Updated and comprehensive information on patterns in these three areas of sexual expression is important for developing knowledge on the extent to which fantasies are distinct from interests and experiences as we...
Article
The research provides few insights regarding the sexual functioning of late adolescents and young adults who are currently in a committed romantic relationship, a context that likely affects their sexual functioning. We sought to identify individual and relationship factors associated with their sexual functioning. Participants were 409 individuals...
Article
Background: Although promoting sexual health should be an integral part of midwifery practice, little is known about midwives' preparation to address their clients' sexual health concerns. Aims: To assess the formal and self-directed training on sexual health topics relevant to midwifery practice of Canadian midwives as well as the association b...
Article
As more and more people are in long-distance relationships (LDRs), a growing body of literature has emerged investigating how these individuals maintain their relationships in the face of geographical separation. We extended this literature by comparing North American individuals in LDRs (n = 232) and in geographically close relationships (n = 236)...
Article
This study assessed the extent to which an Internet-recruited sample of residents of India was supportive of the provision of comprehensive sexual education in school in a country where youth sexual health is poor. We sought to determine whether attitudes differed for those of varying demographic backgrounds (age, sex, education level, religion), t...
Article
We examined the prevalence and frequency with which cognitively able adults (141 men, 190 women) with autism spectrum disorder (CA-ASD) engaged in a range of online sexual activities (OSAs). Participants completed an online survey that assessed their recent involvement in nonarousal (Information Seeking, Chatting), solitary-arousal (S-OSA), and par...
Article
More and more young people are in long-distance relationships (LDRs). However, little is known about perceived or reported outcomes of LDRs compared to geographically close relationships (GCRs). This investigation compared the relationship outcomes (Study 1) and perceived outcomes (Study 2) of individuals in LDRs and GCRs. In Study 1, young adults...
Article
Résumé Objectif Concevoir des lignes directrices nationales en ce qui a trait à l'évaluation des préoccupations des femmes en matière de santé sexuelle et à l'offre de soins de santé sexuelle aux femmes. Résultats La littérature publiée a été récupérée par l'intermédiaire de recherches menées dans PubMed, CINAHL et la Cochrane Library entre mai e...
Article
Objective: To establish national guidelines for the assessment of women's sexual health concerns and the provision of sexual health care for women. Evidence: Published literature was retrieved through searches of PubMed, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library from May to October 2010, using appropriate controlled vocabulary (e.g., sexuality, "sexual d...
Article
The goal of this study was to explore women’s perceptions of their body within the context of their sexual relationship with a male partner. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 young women (ages 19 to 29). Thematic analysis revealed that women described a fluctuating body image that influences their behaviour and experience of sexual...
Article
It is important to have psychometrically sound measures of various types of sexual attitudes because sexual attitudes are related to sexual health and sexual behaviour. There are few measures focused on attitudes toward sexual behaviours. In addition, existing measures do not include items that assess online sexual behaviours and/or the context in...
Article
Verbal and nonverbal sexual communication helps couples develop a mutually satisfying sexual script. This research, composed of two studies, was aimed at developing a scale in English and Spanish that assesses verbal and nonverbal sexual communication. The English and the Spanish versions showed the same factorial structure (Verbal Sexual Communica...
Article
This study sought to provide information about the sexual well-being of 298 mixed-sex couples seeking relationship therapy and determined the extent to which problems with sexual functioning and dyadic adjustment of both partners are associated with sexual satisfaction. Partners completed meaures of dyadic adjustment, sexual satisfaction, and sexua...
Article
Full-text available
Although there are high rates of sexual problems and sexual dysfunction in adulthood (Mitchell et al., 2013), little is known about the circumstances under which problems are first experienced. A growing body of research addresses prevalence of problems in sexual functioning among adolescents and young adults, yet little is known about the meanings...
Article
Résumé Objectif Concevoir des lignes directrices nationales en ce qui a trait à l'évaluation des préoccupations des femmes en matière de santé sexuelle et à l'offre de soins de santé sexuelle aux femmes. Résultats La littérature publiée a été récupérée par l'intermédiaire de recherches menées dans PubMed, CINAHL et la Cochrane Library entre mai e...
Article
Objective To establish national guidelines for the assessment of women's sexual health concerns and the provision of sexual health care for women. Evidence Published literature was retrieved through searches of PubMed, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library from May to October 2010, using appropriate controlled vocabulary (e .g., sexuality, “sexual dysf...
Article
The current study examined the perception of sexual health education (SHE) being provided in middle and high schools in three Canadian provinces from a sample of young adults. Participants were 296 undergraduate students (91 men, 205 women) between the ages of 18 and 24 who had gone to both middle school and high school in New Brunswick, Nova Scoti...
Article
Researchers have demonstrated that several dimensions of sexual functioning (e.g., sexual desire, arousal, orgasm) are associated with the sexual satisfaction of individuals in a committed mixed-sex (male–female) relationship. We extended this research by comparing a dyadic model that included both own (i.e., actor effect) and partner (i.e., partne...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to compare male and female college students in four countries (Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the U.S.) on their lifetime experiences (prevalence) and frequency of recent experiences with six types of online sexual activities (OSA): sexual information, sexual entertainment, sexual contacts, sexual minority communities, s...
Article
Few studies have examined the sexual sequelae of child sexual abuse (CSA) for sexual minority women (SMW), particularly SMW in dating relationships. We examined the impact of CSA on several aspects of sexual well-being. Participants were 299 SMW in a non-cohabiting dating relationship who completed an online survey that assessed CSA, adolescent and...
Article
Genital dissatisfaction is problematic for women in and of itself but also because it is associated with poorer sexual well-being. The current study aimed to clarify the prevalence of female genital dissatisfaction, both globally (i.e., overall) and with regards to distinct genital aspects, in a sample of women of different ages and with different...
Article
Full-text available
There has been little research on threesomes, a form of multi-person sex that involves sexual activity with two other people simultaneously. Therefore, we examined young adults' attitudes toward, interest in, and experiences with one form of threesome, mixed-gender threesomes (MGTs), defined as sexual activity involving three people where at least...
Article
Guided by the integrative model of behavioral prediction, we examined factors associated with more extensive mother–adolescent sexual communication. Participants were 303 mothers of young adolescents who completed a survey assessing their skills, attitudes about the outcomes of sexual health discussions, perceptions of social norms, self-efficacy,...
Article
People use the Internet for a wide range of online sexual activities (OSA): behaviours that involve sexual content, topics, and stimuli. Yet, current OSA summary statistics provide little perspective on patterns of OSA experience because researchers have not compared multiple indicators of experience within the same sample. We explored the prevalen...
Article
We examined the validity of the interpersonal exchange model of sexual satisfaction for sexual-minority women (SMW) with a range of sexual identities (lesbian, bisexual, queer, unlabeled, questioning). Participants, 898 (192 who were dating, 439 who were cohabitating) SMW in a romantic relationship of at least 3 months, completed an online survey t...
Article
Provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) – a recurrent, localized vulvar pain – interferes with couples' sexual relationships as evidenced by lower sexual satisfaction compared to controls. Little is known about what components of sexual satisfaction contribute to this lower satisfaction. Using the Interpersonal Exchange Model of Sexual Satisfaction (IEMSS),...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the relationship between various subtypes of positive and negative sexual cognitions (NSC) based on their content (intimate, exploratory, sadomasochistic, impersonal) and sexual functioning, including aspects of sexual response (desire), sexual motivation (sexual excitation and sexual inhibition), and cognitive-affective domains...
Presentation
Is open communication what links the romantic and sexual dimensions of adolescents’ intimate relationships? We created a theoretical path model to test the relationships among relationship satisfaction, commitment, sexual communication, and sexual satisfaction across a two year time period.
Poster
Full-text available
Background: Online sexual activity (OSA) refers to the use of the Internet for engaging in activities involving sexuality. Research suggests that many people engage in OSA. Yet, there is little research on people’s perceived positive and negative outcomes of their OSA. Findings suggest that people report more positive than negative outcomes, with m...
Article
Most older adults experience sexual desire and engage in sexual activity, however, our knowledge about the sexual well-being (SWB) of older adults is still scarce. The present study aimed to examine the SWB of older adults as well as differences in their SWB based on gender and relationship status. The final sample consisted of 297 adults (149 men...
Article
Purpose: Rates of sexual dysfunctions are high among adults, but little is known about problems in sexual functioning among adolescents. We completed a comprehensive assessment of problems in sexual functioning and related distress over a 2-year period among adolescents (16-21 years). Methods: A sample of 405 adolescents completed five online su...
Article
Recent research in North America has failed to find evidence of sexist attitudes on measures of explicit sexual attitudes. This suggests that social desirability may affect self-reports of gender-related attitudes. This study used an indirect means to assess gender-related attitudes—individual's interest in experiencing being the other gender. Part...
Article
This study investigated the messages individuals receive from their partners about their bodies and their perceived impact on body image and sexual well-being. Young adult men (n=35) and women (n=57) completed open-ended questions identifying messages they had received from partners and the impact of these messages on their body image and sexual we...
Poster
Online sexual activity (OSA) refers to the use of the Internet for engaging in any activities involving sexuality or of a sexual nature (Cooper & Griffin-Shelley, 2002). Many people engage in OSA, and do so relatively infrequently (Shaughnessy, Byers, & Walsh, 2011). In comparison to the amount of research on people’s OSA experiences, there is rela...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have given significant attention to abstinence among adolescents, but far less is known about purposeful avoidance of sexual activity (and relationship involvement). Typically, it is assumed that, once adolescents have initiated sexual activity, they will thereafter engage in sexual activity if given the opportunity. However, it is uncl...
Article
Women's genital self-perceptions encompass their subjective thoughts and feelings about their own genitals. The goal of the current study was to enhance our understanding of the complexities of women's lived experiences of their genital self-perceptions. Participants were 20 women (ages 19 to 35 years) who first answered a single quantitative item,...
Article
Introduction: Psychological, interpersonal, and sociocultural factors play a significant role in making one vulnerable to developing a sexual concern, in triggering the onset of a sexual difficulty, and in maintaining sexual dysfunction in the long term. Aim: To focus on psychological and interpersonal aspects of sexual functioning in women and...
Article
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Aims: This study aimed to highlight the salient sociocultural factors contributing to sexual health and dysfunction and to offer recommendations for culturally sensitive clinical management and research as well for an ethically sound sexual health care, counseling and medical decision-making. Background: There are limited data on the impact of s...
Article
Sexual minority women (lesbian, bisexual, queer, unlabeled, questioning) have 2 minority statuses that can result in minority stress: sexual minority and woman. This study examined external (criminal victimization, child sexual abuse, adult sexual victimization) and internal (internalized heterosexism) stressors related to these minority statuses a...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To determine access to and use of sexual health care services among adolescents and young adults with and without a history of sexual coercion, and to examine whether a history of sexual coercion was a barrier to using sexual health care services. Participants A total of 405 adolescents and young adults aged 16 to 21. Main outcome measure...
Article
The Interpersonal Exchange Model of Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire (IEMSSQ) contains a number of separate measures that, together, have been useful in enhancing understanding of sexual satisfaction because it is based on a validated theoretical framework and has good psychometric properties. The present study aimed to determine the psychometric...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the opinions and attitudes of Ontario parents regarding school-based sexual health education (SHE). Results are based on surveys from 1002 parents with children attending publicly funded elementary or secondary schools in Ontario, Canada. A large majority (87%) of parents strongly agreed or agreed that SHE should be provided in...
Article
Research suggests that having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as genital herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV) can negatively affect sexual well-being. However, there is little research examining factors associated with poorer sexual well-being among individuals with a STI. This study investigated the extent to which stigma experiences,...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the validity of the Interpersonal Exchange Model of Sexual Satisfaction (IEMSS) as a framework for understanding the sexual satisfaction of 205 adults (77 men and 128 women) with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) who were in a romantic relationship of at least 3 months duration. Participants completed an online...
Article
RÉSUMÉ L’intérêt sexuel et la capacité sexuelle peut s’étendre loin dans la vie plus tard, entraînant de nombreux effets positifs sur la santé. Cependant, il y a peu de soutien pour l’expression sexuelle dans la vie plus tard, notamment chez les jeunes adultes. Cette étude a évalué et comparé les attitudes implicites et explicites de jeunes adultes...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Individuals with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HF-ASD) are reportedly not reaching their potential in terms of psychosocial outcomes (Howlin, Goode, Hutton & Rutter, 2004; Levy & Perry, 2011). However, the use of select clinical samples limits our ability to generalize findings to the broader group of individuals with HF-AS...
Article
Cybersex is a constellation of partnered, online sexual activities; yet, researchers have not considered the relationship between participants. In this study, we examined cybersex within three partner contexts that differ in their degree of anonymity: primary partner, someone known who was not a partner (known non-partner), and stranger. Participan...
Article
Little is known about problems in sexual functioning among young people, despite the high rates found in adult samples. It is unclear which problems are most prevalent or how common sexual distress is for young people experiencing problems. This study aims to assess the prevalence, range, and correlates of sexual problems and distress among a sampl...
Article
The goal of this study was to extend our understanding of attitudes toward three types of online sexual activity (OSA) among both students and members of the community: non-arousal OSA (N-OSA), solitary-arousal OSA (S-OSA), and partnered-arousal OSA (P-OSA). In Study 1, 81 male and 140 female undergraduate students completed a paper and pencil surv...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this study was to characterize the sexuality of sexual-minority (i.e., lesbian, bisexual, queer, unlabeled, questioning) women. Participants were 586 women (87% White) in a same-sex relationship of 1 to 36 years in duration. They completed measures assessing their sexual behavior (frequency of nongenital and genital sexual activities),...
Article
Full-text available
Oral sex is a common and normative part of young people's sexual behavior, yet there is concern that young people perceive oral sex as a casual, non-intimate behavior. The current study used a qualitative methodology to improve our understanding of the factors that contributed to university students' perceptions of the intimacy of sexual behaviors....
Article
Single-item measures of sexual behaviours are often used in sex research despite wide acknowledgment of their limitations. In this study, we used cybersex as a case study to examine how well a single-item measure captured the incidence of a sexual behaviour. To do so, we examined whether participants’ reports on single-item and multi-item measures...
Article
Full-text available
Arousal-oriented online sexual activities (OSAs) are any activities on the Internet that involve sexually explicit and/or sexually arousing stimuli. These can be solitary-arousal activities, requiring only one person be involved. They can also be partnered-arousal activities that involve at least two people interacting (Shaughnessy, Byers, & Walsh,...
Article
There has been little experimental research examining characteristics that contribute to the stigmatization of individuals with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) other than HIV. We examined 3 illness characteristics (STI type, control over transmission, target gender) and 3 observer characteristics (sexual attitudes, sexual experience, observe...
Article
Full-text available
Participants (124 heterosexual women) completed measures of thin-ideal internalization, discrepancy between perceptions of actual and ideal figure (DISCSELF), perceptions of the discrepancy between estimates of partner's view of actual and ideal female figure (DISCPART), body image, and sexual well-being. We found support for the proposed perceptio...
Article
This study compared individuals with and without herpes and/or human papillomavirus (HPV) on several aspects of sexual well-being. We also investigated whether gender and relationship status moderated these relationships. Participants were 183 individuals with herpes and HPV and 299 without a diagnosis who completed measures of sexual activity, sex...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the sexual functioning of single adults (61 men, 68 women) with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome living in the community with and without prior relationship experience. Participants completed an on-line questionnaire assessing autism symptoms, psychological functioning, and various aspects of sexual functioning. In...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the motivations for entering the field and sexual attitudes, experiences, and behavior of an international group of sexuality professionals. Participants were 252 individuals attending the XVII World Congress of Sexology who completed a questionnaire in English, Spanish or French. Most participants' reported professional rather...
Article
This paper examines factors associated with middle school students' perceptions of the quality of the sexual health education (SHE) they received at school. Participants were 478 predominately White young people (256 girls, 222 boys) in grades 6–8 who completed a survey assessing their demographic characteristics; dating and sexual experience; and...