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The Role of Sexual Communication in Couples’ Sexual Outcomes: A Dyadic Path Analysis

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Abstract

In a study of 142 couples, we gathered survey data to show how sexual communication influences sexual and relationship satisfaction as well as sexual and orgasm frequency. In two dyadic data path analyses, we observed the significant paths of influence that sexual communication has on sexual and relationship satisfaction, as well as sexual and orgasm frequency. Our findings revealed greater amounts of sexual communication were associated with increased orgasm frequency in women and greater relationship and sexual satisfaction in both sexes. We also observed important differences in the associations of sexual communication and general communication on satisfaction levels. With these analyses, we expand the current literature to broaden our understanding of the role that sexual communication plays in committed relationships.

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... 3 Sexual frequency and sexual communication have independently been shown to contribute to sexual satisfaction, 4 with higher levels of sexual satisfaction being associated with higher frequencies of sex 5 and with greater sexual communication skills, including the ability to express one's sexual needs. 6,7 Similarly, sexual frequency and sexual communication have each, individually, been found to be relevant to the prediction of relationship satisfaction. 7,8 However, most research to date tends to isolate possible predictors, without considering their possible interplay. ...
... 6,7 Similarly, sexual frequency and sexual communication have each, individually, been found to be relevant to the prediction of relationship satisfaction. 7,8 However, most research to date tends to isolate possible predictors, without considering their possible interplay. Also, the few studies that included both sexual frequency and sexual communication as predictors, tested their association with sexual satisfaction, but not with relationship satisfaction. ...
... 21,22 In both men and women, more frequent and better communication has indeed been associated with higher sexual and relationship satisfaction. 7 However, findings tend to vary depending on whether the focus is on sexual or on non-sexual communication. 23,24 In general, communication between sexual partners has been found to be important to sexual satisfaction. ...
Article
Background Although their individual contributions to sexual and relational outcomes are well-established, there has been a lack of research on the importance of sexual frequency and sexual communication to sexual and relationship satisfaction. Aim To examine the contribution of sexual frequency and sexual communication to sexual and relationship satisfaction in the early stages of couple relationships. Methods A sample of 126 young, heterosexual couples (mean age = 23.3 years, SD = 2.4; average relationship duration = 1.9 years, SD = 0.9) filled out questionnaires about sexual frequency, sexual communication, and sexual and relationship satisfaction. Analyses were guided by the actor-partner interdependence model. Outcomes Main outcome variables were sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction, measured by the Quality of Sex Inventory and the Couple Satisfaction Index, respectively. Results Analyses revealed a significant actor effect of both sexual communication and sexual frequency for sexual satisfaction. Only sexual communication, not sexual frequency, predicted relationship satisfaction. No significant partner or gender effects were found. Clinical Translation These findings lend support to the notion that couples could benefit from focusing on non-behavioral processes (eg, sexual communication), rather than sexual behavior per se, when pursuing a fulfilling partnership. Strengths & Limitations Strengths of the study include the dyadic nature of the data and analyses, allowing for the evaluation of both individual- and couple-level processes. Also, to our knowledge, this is the first study to specifically examine the importance of sexual frequency and sexual communication to both sexual and relationship satisfaction. Limitations include the reliance on self-report measures and a relatively homogeneous sample. Conclusion Although both sexual frequency and sexual communication were relevant to the prediction of sexual satisfaction, only sexual communication predicted relationship satisfaction in this sample of young, heterosexual couples. Roels R, Janssen E. Sexual and Relationship Satisfaction in Young, Heterosexual Couples: The Role of Sexual Frequency and Sexual Communication. J Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX–XXX.
... The "orgasm gap" refers to the well-established discrepancy in orgasm frequency between cisgender men and women when engaging in heterosexual partnered sex, with men having more orgasms than women on average (e.g., Frederick et al., 2018;Garcia et al., 2014;Piemonte et al., 2019;see Mahar et al., 2020 for a review). Research has shown that the orgasm gap is exacerbated in casual sex encounters (Armstrong et al., 2012;Piemonte et al., 2019), but still exists within committed relationships that span many years (Frederick et al., 2018;Jones et al., 2018). Previous research has established the existence of this disparity across various samples and sexual contexts, but the majority of this work has been between-subjects, comparing samples of men and women. ...
... There has been limited research exploring the orgasm gap in couples from a dyadic perspective. Two recent studies have done so, using heterosexual couples who were newlyweds (Leonhardt et al., 2018) or in committed relationships (Jones et al., 2018). Both studies identified orgasm gaps within the dyadic pairs, with men having more orgasms than their partners. ...
... The current research replicates the existence of the orgasm gap within the context of dyadic couples in committed longterm relationships, with men having more orgasms than women (Frederick et al., 2018;Jones et al., 2018;Leonhardt et al., 2018). Relationships in our sample spanned from 6 months to 61.9 years, and the length of the couple's relationship was not correlated with the size of the orgasm gap for that relationship. ...
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While previous research has established the existence of an orgasm gap between men and women, research exploring this phenomenon within dyadic samples of mixed-sex couples has been limited. The current study aims to investigate the impact of this orgasm disparity on novel sexual outcomes for couples, including desire and expectation for orgasm. We conducted secondary data analyses on a sample of 104 sexually active mixed-sex couples using an online Qualtrics panel (Mage = 43.9 years; 94.2% heterosexual; 79.3% White). Cisgender men and women within the couple reported on their sexual satisfaction, orgasm frequency, desired orgasm frequency, expectation for how often people should orgasm (“orgasm expectation”), and perceptions of their partner’s orgasm frequency. An orgasm gap emerged, and men significantly underreported the size of the orgasm gap in their relationships. In a dyadic path model, men’s and women’s own orgasm frequency positively predicted their desire and expectation for orgasm. Additionally, women’s orgasm frequency predicted men’s orgasm expectation. This relationship between orgasm frequencies and expectancies may partially explain women’s lower orgasm importance compared to men. A cycle of orgasm inequality within relationships may be perpetuated when women who experience less frequent orgasms lower their desire and expectation for orgasm. Sex educators, activists, and therapists should work to improve entitlement to sexual pleasure and orgasm, particularly for women who wish to increase their orgasm frequency.
... Trepidation about disclosure is likely influenced by sexual scripts and cultural mores that inform the meaning Black women attach to sexual pain (Sadownik et al. 2017). For example, Black women may not disclose sexual pain to their partners due to gendered-racial socialisation to maintain silence around sex (Abrams, Hill and Maxwell 2019) and accept pain as normative (Jones, Robinson and Seedall 2018). ...
... For example, women's experiences of sexual pain can be influenced by their partners' response of attention, love and understanding (Blair et al. 2015). Being in a mutually supportive relationship serves as a protective factor against sexual pain as frequent sexual communication reduces the likelihood of sexual pain complications (Jones, Robinson and Seedall 2018). Although an intimate relationship does not eliminate sexual pain entirely, sexual communication between partners can lessen the negative physical, emotional and psychological distress associated with sexual pain (Awada et al. 2014). ...
... First, although nearly 20% of women encounter sexual pain, the public has limited access to sexual health information (Donaldson and Meana 2011) and painful sex can result from serious and complex health conditions. Second, a person's comfort discussing sex, and more specifically sexual pain, can be informed by cultural norms (Jones, Robinson, and Seedall 2018). Sexual script theory suggests these norms shape sexual communication skills, or a lack thereof. ...
Article
Black women experience persistent sexual pain that may often last longer than White women. Despite the value of sexual communication to alleviate sexual pain concerns, many women do not disclose sexual pain to their partners. Limited research explores barriers to disclosing sexual pain to partners among Black women. This study seeks to fill this gap. Relying on an integration of Sexual Script theory and Superwoman Schema, the study explored the barriers that premenopausal, cisgender Black women from the Southern USA perceived when disclosing sexual pain to their primary partners. We identified five common themes from women’s open-ended responses to an online survey: (a) distressing emotions associated with disclosure; (b) limited knowledge and communication skills; (c) protecting partner’s feelings and ego; (d) invading privacy; and (e) taking sole responsibility for managing sexual pain. Findings suggest a combination of intrapsychic, interpersonal and cultural factors influence Black women’s perceived ability to have direct and open dyadic communication about sexual pain with their partners. Implications for Black women’s sexual health and relationship outcomes are discussed.
... Why might couples behave in ways that indicate an overall softening of communication when discussing sexual conflicts in their relationship? One potential explanation for higher positivity and lower negativity during sexual conflict discussions involves the possibility that this behavioral pattern reflects romantic partners' effort to manage higher perceived threat associated with sexual, as compared to nonsexual communication (e.g., Jones et al., 2018;Mark & Jozkowski, 2013). That is, in an effort to manage greater perceived threat, partners may change their behaviors, potentially as a way to signal safety. ...
... Our second research goal was to examine how and to what degree observed communication in sexual and nonsexual conflict discussions is associated with relationship satisfaction. Past theoretical work has consistently emphasized the importance of communication to relational outcomes (Byers, 2011;Frederick et al., 2017;Jones et al., 2018;Mark & Jozkowski, 2013;Montesi et al., 2010), but to our knowledge, there has been only one study that examined the association between observed sexual and nonsexual communication behaviors and relationship satisfaction (Rehman et al., 2011). In the current study, negative communication behaviors during nonsexual conflict discussions were associated with lower relationship satisfaction in oneself and in one's partner. ...
... Our statistical approach is similar to that applied in previous studies on general communication and sexual communication, which also tested associations with relational outcome variables using separate models (Byers & MacNeil, 1997;Mark & Jozkowski, 2013;McNeil et al., 2018;Rehman et al., 2011). A recent questionnaire study (Jones et al., 2018), compared the effects of both sets of variables in the same model, and found evidence supporting the idea that the two types of communication are separate and distinct, with different effects. Additionally, the choice to test different models in our study is supported by our test of distinguishability, which differed for the sexual and nonsexual discussions, indicating a different impact of gender in those analyses. ...
Article
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The quality of communication between romantic partners has consistently been found to be associated with relationship well-being and stability. Studies on sexual and nonsexual communication, however, have typically assessed communication skills and behaviors using self-report measures. The use of observational methods has several advantages, including the ability to capture and allow for the independent coding of both partners’ communication behaviors. With few exceptions, research applying observational methods has not distinguished between sexual and nonsexual communication behaviors. In the present study, we asked 126 young, mixed-sex couples to engage in sexual and nonsexual conflict discussions. The two 7-min discussions were videotaped and rated by trained coders on nine behavioral dimensions using an adaptation of the specific affect coding system (Gottman & Krokoff, 1989) and the system for coding interactions and family functioning (Lindahl & Malik, 2001). Coder ratings applied to the discussion as a whole. Analyses included factor analysis on the behavioral dimensions and multilevel modeling incorporating the actor–partner interdependence model (APIM). We found significant differences in how couples interacted during the two discussions, with more positive (affectionate and validating) and less negative behaviors during sexual discussions as compared to nonsexual discussions. In both women and men, expressions of positivity during the two types of conflict discussions were associated with higher relationship satisfaction. Gender differences were found in the association between negative behaviors during sexual discussions and relationship satisfaction, with men but not women’s negative behaviors being associated with lower relationship satisfaction. These findings point at distinct qualities of sexual communication and its association with couples’ relational well-being and contribute to a better scientific understanding, with clinical relevance, of sexual and nonsexual communication.
... Additionally, for a further understanding of the application of implicit theories to sexual domains, it may be valuable to deeply investigate sexual implicit theories and their influence on people' sexuality. Among these, communicating sexual issues with a partner has been proven to be important to the quality of sex and relationship (Anderson et al., 2016;Jones et al., 2018;Rancourt et al., 2016). However, whether Chinese people's sexual destiny and growth beliefs are associated with their sexual communication with a partner is also underexplored. ...
... Sexual communication generally involves individuals' discussions about various sexual issues with a partner and is a multidimensional construct, which includes diverse behaviors and perspectives about sex (Harris et al., 2014). Studies have revealed that sexual communication was associated with higher sexual satisfaction, sexual functioning, and relationship satisfaction (Anderson et al., 2016;Jones et al., 2018;Rancourt et al., 2016). Sexual communication satisfaction captures individuals' satisfaction with communication about sexual behaviors with a partner, communication about which sexual behaviors are satisfying, satisfaction derived from what is communicated by certain sexual behaviors, and the willingness or ability to communicate about sex with a partner (Wheeless et al., 1984). ...
Article
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The current research examined the relationships between sexual implicit (destiny and growth) beliefs and yuan beliefs. This research also examined the association between sexual implicit beliefs and sexual communication satisfaction through the mediating role of sexual communal motives and motivation to express emotional value for a partner during sex. Results showed that sexual destiny and growth beliefs were positively related to yuan beliefs. Sexual destiny and growth beliefs were also associated with sexual communication satisfaction through the mediating effects of sexual communal motives and the motivation to express emotional value for a partner during sex. Specifically, high levels of sexual destiny and growth beliefs were associated with high levels of motivation to fulfill a partner’s sexual needs and high levels of inclination to emphasize/express emotional value for a partner during sex; these were also associated with high levels of sexual communication satisfaction. The findings suggest that sexual implicit beliefs may overlap with yuan beliefs, and sexual implicit beliefs and approach sexual motives are important for sexual communication in romantic relationships.
... The positive effect can primarily be attributed to the disclosure of the own sexual preferences to increase the likelihood of incorporating them in sexual interactions with the partner. 50,72,67 According to Montesi et al 73 ...
... 7,13,57 The latter has the advantage that relationship dynamics can be analyzed in more detail. Relationship satisfaction and duration, 7,13,57,93 sexual and general communication skills, 4,49,50,72,73,94 and attachment style 5,30 were the most common representatives of this variable group. ...
Article
Introduction The increasing research interest in sexual satisfaction corresponds to a large amount of studies which focus on different singular determinants without establishing a common model for its explanation. Objectives The purpose of this review is to systematically identify and evaluate the structure and results of the current research about sexual satisfaction in heterosexual women in a long-term relationship. Methods A systematic literature search using Web of Knowledge, ProQuest and PSYNDEX was conducted from January 2004 to October 2019. In total, 1,649 studies published in the last 15 years were extracted from the databases with a systematic keyword search. Through a multistage evaluation process 204 studies met the inclusion criteria and described findings about sexual satisfaction as dependent variable. Results Research interest in sexual satisfaction increased notably in the last 5 years. Empirical analyses were predominantly based on data from North America whereas a considerably smaller share of research analyzed samples from Europe or Asia. Relationship variables were the most frequently analyzed predictors and included in more than half of the identified studies. Sexual behavior was most often analyzed in the form of frequency of sexual interactions. Contrariwise, sexual practices, communication about sexuality and sexual desire, and sexual thoughts received limited attention. Demographics were considered in one third of all studies. The inclusion of control variables was rare. Some important studies considered variables closely related to sexual satisfaction such as sexual dysfunction. Conclusion Relationship satisfaction and the frequency of sexual interactions are identified as the most frequently confirmed predictors of sexual satisfaction across all evaluated studies. Results about the effects of pornography consumption, religion, and relationship duration showed the greatest inconsistency. In general, identified effects were often believed to result from mediator variables like sexual desire or distracting thoughts.
... Disfungsi seksual dipandang memiliki aspek fungsional, yang mampu menarik perhatian ke daerah-daerah sensitif dalam pernikahan (Clulow, 1984). Begitupun terkait kepuasan seksual maka dapat dilihat dari komunikasi seksual (Jones, Robinson, & Seedall, 2017) menghasilkan meningkatnya frekuensi dan orgasme sesksual (Jones et al., 2017 (Cook, 1985). ...
... Disfungsi seksual dipandang memiliki aspek fungsional, yang mampu menarik perhatian ke daerah-daerah sensitif dalam pernikahan (Clulow, 1984). Begitupun terkait kepuasan seksual maka dapat dilihat dari komunikasi seksual (Jones, Robinson, & Seedall, 2017) menghasilkan meningkatnya frekuensi dan orgasme sesksual (Jones et al., 2017 (Cook, 1985). ...
Conference Paper
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Disfungsi seksual merupakan masalah yang tidak dapat dipisahkan dalam hubungan suami-istri, bersifat fisiologis dan psikologis, berorientasi masalah kognitif, afektif, dan / atau perilaku yang mencegah individu atau pasangan terlibat dan / atau menikmati kepuasan hubungan seksual. Sex counseling merupakan pembahasan sikap, karakteristik, atau perilaku yang terkait dengan seksualitas untuk mengatasi disfungsi seksual dalam hubungan seks pasangan suami-istri, bertujuan memberi pemahaman seks yang akurat, untuk meningkatkan kenikmatan erotis dengan mengatasi kecemasan tentang seks, untuk meningkatkan komunikasi antara pasangan seksual, dan untuk mengintegrasikan pengalaman menjadi identitas seksual yang sehat yang berkembang. Dalam konseling seks konselor sebagai konsultan yang memberi pemahaman dan rasa kepercyaan kepada pasangan, sedangkan pada proses konseling konselor berperan untuk: (1) memfasilitasi meningkatnya kenikmatan dan hubungan sesksual pasangan; (2) pasangan dapat menangani masalah keintiman dan seksualitas, serta eksplorasi terapeutik individu dan pasangan secara mandiri dan bertanggung jawab; dan (3) mendorong pasangan dengan pengalaman fungsional seksual maka yang melibatkan variabilitas dalam fungsi dan kepuasan Keywords: Disfungsi Seksual, Hubungan Seks Pasangan Suami-Istri, Sex Counseling
... One way of doing so is by providing couples with relevant information about postpartum sexuality, along with effective strategies to discuss and deal with their sexual worries, and their need to engage, or not engage, in sex . Communicating about sexual issues can be a difficult task for many couples (Sanford, 2003) but is often beneficial for both partners' sexual and relational satisfaction (Jones, Robinson, & Seedall, 2018;Rancourt, Flynn, Bergeron, Rosen, 2017). Therefore, enhanced knowledge of what to expect regarding sexual changes postpartum, coupled with better communication about one's sexual concerns, could normalize new parents' experiences, facilitate feelings of increased adjustment postpartum, and ultimately promote effective strategies to deal with them. ...
Article
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Background/objective: The transition to parenthood encompasses several psychological and relational changes that might contribute to couples' high levels of stress postpartum. Although common across the postpartum, couples' sexual changes are frequently overlooked. Method: We surveyed 255 mixed-sex new parent couples to examine the associations between sexual well-being-sexual satisfaction, desire, and postpartum sexual concerns-and perceived stress postpartum. Couples completed self-report questionnaires assessing perceived stress and sexual well-being. Results: For both mothers and fathers, greater sexual satisfaction was associated with their partners' lower perceived stress and, for fathers, this was also associated with their own lower perceived stress. For mothers, greater partner-focused sexual desire was associated with their own lower perceived stress whereas, for fathers, greater partner-focused sexual desire was associated with their partners' higher perceived stress. In addition, greater solitary sexual desire and postpartum sexual concerns were associated with both parents' own higher perceived stress. Conclusions: This study highlights the association between sexual well-being and couples' postpartum stress, suggesting that more positive sexual experiences are linked to lower perceptions of stress across this vulnerable period. Couples' sexual well-being may be an important target for interventions aimed at helping postpartum couples cope with stress.
... Couples who are skilled in communication experience better sex life and higher marital commitment. [22] While dissatisfaction with sexual relations could lead to serious conflicts in couples' relationship. [19] Couples' communication and interaction is the most important factor influencing the marital life. ...
... The questionnaire included 6 questions assessing frequency of specific sexual and intimate activities, including genital stimulation, receiving oral sex, giving oral sex, penile-vaginal intercourse, cuddling, and kissing. As in previous studies (Busby et al., 2020;Jones, Robinson, & Seedall, 2018;McNulty et al., 2016;Muise et al., 2016;Twenge, Sherman, & Wells, 2017), participants were asked how often they engaged in such activities during the last 12 months. Response options ranged from Not once (1), Once a month or less (2), Several times a month (3), Once or twice a week (4), A few times a week (5), Once a day (6), to More than once a day (7). ...
Article
We examined if and to what degree attachment orientations of both partners moderate the link between different behavioral characteristics of the sexual relationship and relationship satisfaction in the early stages of romantic attachment. A sample of 126 young, mixed-sex couples (N = 252, mean age = 23.3, SD = 2.4; average relationship duration = 1.9 years, SD = 0.9) filled out questionnaires assessing attachment anxiety and avoidance, a range of intimate and sexual couple behaviors, and relationship satisfaction. Exploratory factor analyses revealed two behavioral factors: Intimate behavior (kissing, cuddling) and sexual behavior (oral sex, coitus). Although frequency of sexual behavior was not directly associated with relationship satisfaction, we found a significant positive interaction with anxious attachment, indicating that higher frequencies of sexual behavior were associated with greater self-reported relationship satisfaction in more anxiously attached individuals. Exploration of the effects of intimate behaviors on relationship satisfaction revealed significant positive associations as well, but, unexpectedly, only for avoidantly attached individuals. These results call for a dyadic and differentiated approach to the study of sexuality in couples and are in line with prior findings that the impact of intimate and sexual behaviors on relationship satisfaction varies depending on attachment orientations.
... Future studies should also include other sexuality-related measures. For example, research shows that open communication about sexual needs is associated with sexual satisfaction (Jones, Robinson, & Seedall, 2018) and that partners who use pornography together, compared to those who do not, have more open sexual communication . Hence, communications about sexual novelty, including pornography use, might also be associated with personal and relational sexual outcomes (Frederick et al., 2017;Rosa et al., 2019). ...
Article
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More frequent internet pornography use is often associated with decreased sexual satisfaction. However, individuals who use internet pornography more often can experience better relationship outcomes, depending on how they use it in the context of their relationship. Indeed, internet pornography use with the partner seems to be positively associated with sexual satisfaction. We explored whether the type of agreement partners have about monogamy is related to this association. We conducted a cross-sectional study (N = 866; 66.3% women, Mage = 27.40, SD = 8.58) with individuals in monogamous (n = 552), non-consensual non-monogamous (NCNM; n = 210) and consensually non-monogamous (CNM; n = 104) relationships. Results showed that CNM individuals used internet pornography substantially more than the other two groups, but they were as sexually satisfied with themselves and with their primary partner as monogamous individuals. NCNM individuals were the least sexually satisfied and reported more sexual arousal difficulties than the other groups. Results further showed that CNM individuals included their primary partner in their internet pornography use more frequently than the other groups, and this inclusion was positively associated with sexual satisfaction with the primary partner. The frequency of internet pornography use with the partner was negatively associated with sexual arousal difficulties for monogamous individuals and positively associated with personal and relational sexual satisfaction in both monogamous and NCNM individuals. These results complement past findings by shedding light on the role of internet pornography use for different relationship agreements, and its association with personal and relational experiences.
... Evidence showed that marital satisfaction in middle-aged couples who had high level of nontangible supports from adult children was high (30). Moreover, couples communication was found to affect their sexual satisfaction (31). This finding can be interpreted as follows: increased parenting-related stress , less time dedicated to each other due to the child's demands, greater engagement and reduced relationship between husband and wife, more parental responsibilities, and failure to divide the household chores and labor (32) which caused lower sexual and marital satisfaction at this stage of family life cycle. ...
Article
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Objectives: According to previous researches marital satisfaction has various patterns during family life cycle; meanwhile, there are only few studies showing a correlation between sexual and marital satisfaction in different stages of family life cycle. Therefore, the current study was designed to assess long-term female marital and sexual satisfaction in intimate relationships Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 266 married women in different stages of their life family cycle recruited in the study through cluster random sampling technique. Outcomes measurement was carried out using three questionnaires: demographic, ENRICH marital satisfaction, and Larson sexual satisfaction. Results: In this study, 24.4% of the women reported a high level of marital satisfaction while about 21.8% of them mentioned high levels of sexual satisfaction. Positive and highly significant correlation was observed between sexual and marital satisfaction in the first three stages of family life cycle (beginning a family (r=0.5, P = 0.001), childbearing family (r=0.46, P = 0.004), and families with preschool children (r=0.24, P = 0.036). That is, both of the above-mentioned factors decreased slightly, however, such a correlation was not observed in the following stages (P > 0.05). In addition, it was found that, in the last 3 stages (i.e., teenage, empty nest, and retirement), despite a decrease in sexual satisfaction, marital satisfaction increased. Conclusions: In general, the findings revealed that the correlation between sexual satisfaction and marital satisfaction reduced across the stages of life cycle. It seems that through deepening the relationship between the couples, other factors that are more important than sexual satisfaction would contribute to marital satisfaction as well.
... Many of the concerns women have during sex are based on their relationship with their partners and mitigated by finding a partner who is supportive and maintaining open communication with them. 6,[27][28][29] Prior to a sexual encounter, women should be encouraged to have a discussion with their partner about their unique needs so that they can test, in advance, potential partners' flexibility and willingness to accommodate. This will become an important aspect of their skill development as they navigate emotional intimacy, attainment of pleasure, and safety during sexual activity. ...
Article
Objective To provide urologists with a practical guide for how to provide sexual health counseling to girls and women with spina bifida. Methods The recommendations and research of several sources were synthesized to create this guidance, including clinical guidance from the Spina Bifida Association and American College of Obstetricians, the current literature on the sexual health of girls and women with spina bifida, and the multidisciplinary experience of the authors. Results Sexual health education should be viewed by urologists as a continuous discussion, starting in early childhood and gradually building through adolescence. Developing a plan for when and how to bring it up, utilizing parents as educational partners, identifying who will provide the detailed one-on-one counseling if not the primary urologist, establishing a referral network for specialized care (e.g., adolescent gynecologist, physical therapist, or sex therapist), becoming familiar with how spina bifida impacts sexual health, and being prepared for challenges are key to providing these girls and women with competent sexual health education. Urologists should also screen for abuse at each visit and be familiar with reporting and resources for when abuse is identified. Conclusions This guidance can serve to direct urologists in providing competent sexual health education to girls and women with spina bifida. This will ensure these girls and women receive the basic education they need, and that they can be referred to appropriate sexual health experts as indicated.
... Additionally, sexual outcomes reflecting how sexuality is navigated interpersonally may be more relevant to communion and instrumental attitudes. Specifically, further research on the impact of PCSC and emerging adult sexual attitudes should examine outcomes such as how emerging adults navigate consent and power dynamics within sexual encounters (French, 2013) and communicate about sex with sexual partners (Jones et al., 2018). ...
Article
Although communication between parents and children about sexually transmitted diseases and avoiding unwanted pregnancy has been shown to be effective in increasing safe sex practices, parents also implicitly (or explicitly) communicate their own values and attitudes about sex in conversations with their children that might have impacts on their children’s sexual feelings and behaviors beyond adolescence. Data were collected from undergraduate students in a human development class (N = 351; 265 women). Multiple group path analysis was used to investigate how emerging adults’ perceptions of their parents’ sexual values, either leaning toward sexual exploration or abstinence, were associated with their own sexual attitudes, frequency of sexual activity with a partner, desired frequency of sexual activity with a partner and sexual satisfaction. Sexual exploration and abstinence values communicated by parents were significantly associated with emerging adults’ permissive and instrumental sexual attitudes; however, only permissive sexual attitudes mediated relationships between parental values and emerging adult sexual outcomes. Only parent-communicated abstinence values had significant direct effect on any of the sexual outcomes (sexual satisfaction). Additionally, gender only moderated the direct relationship between parental abstinence values and sexual frequency; this relationship was significant only for women.
... Sexual communication is related to positive outcomes in the general population, and couples' communication skills affect relationships and sexual satisfaction (i.e., sexual and orgasm frequency). 35,36 Couples may also experience sexuality communication differently than talking about other issues. 37,38 Research also suggests that there is a link between communication and sexuality for autistic adults. ...
... The APIM is the most widely used analysis in dyadic data and can be conducted using multilevel modeling, path analysis, structural equation modeling, or other formats (Jones et al., 2018;Ledermann & Kenny, 2017). The APIM allows researchers to model how individuals within a dyad influence each other. ...
Article
To advance the counseling profession, researchers must look to contemporary research designs that provide more thorough, consistent, or reliable results. In this article, we describe four unique quantitative methods: single‐case research design, dyadic data analysis, profile analysis, and nonlinear analysis. We detail the utility, application, and recommendations for use associated with each approach, including advances in the methods reviewed for future consideration in counseling research.
... One of the positive aspects of oversexualization, the tendency to use a sexualized language, may have replaced long-lasting taboos and allowed emerging adults to openly discuss sexuality, as highlighted by Brassard et al. (2016) in a sample of young adults. Many researchers have emphasized the fundamental importance of sexual communication in the sexual satisfaction of partners (e.g., Jones, Robinson, & Seedall, 2017). Although most oversexualized behaviours seem to interfere with the experience of intimacy, being able to discuss sexuality openly may represent an advantage when it comes to fostering relationship intimacy. ...
Article
This study examined romantic attachment and intimacy as correlates of oversexualized behaviours and attitudes among emerging adults. A sample of 587 participants (494 women, 93 men) aged between 18 and 29 completed a series of online questionnaires assessing oversexualization, romantic attachment, and intimacy. Hierarchical regression analyses were performed to explore the associations between these variables and examine the moderating role of sex. Results revealed that attachment-related anxiety was associated with overinvestment in sexual appearance, sexual objectification, and performance-based sexuality. This last association was stronger for men than for women. Attachment-related avoidance was associated with seduction and lower meaningfulness of sexuality. In addition, while sexualized language was related to a better perception of emotional, social, sexual, and recreational intimacy, meaningfulness of sexuality was positively related to all dimensions of intimacy. Conversely, sexual objectification was related to lower recreational intimacy, seductive attitude was related to lower emotional intimacy, and overinvestment in one’s sexualized appearance was related to lower sexual intimacy. For men only, overinvestment in sexualized appearance was also related to higher perceived social intimacy Theoretical and clinical implications of these results are discussed.
... Partner communication (or lack thereof) appears to be one crucial factor (Newstrom & Harris, 2016). Sexual communication between committed partners in general is associated with positive relationship indicators (Blumenstock et al., 2020;Herbenick et al., 2019;Jones et al., 2018;Yoo et al., 2014), while partner self-disclosure and communication about pornography viewing specifically are associated with increased relationship and sexual satisfaction (Solano, 2019). Conversely, secrecy and deception about pornography viewing are linked with negative relationship outcomes (Solano, 2019). ...
Article
Pornography’s effects have received renewed attention, with particular concern about how viewing impacts committed partner relationships. Given that secrecy and deception about pornography viewing are linked with negative relationship outcomes, we sought to identify variables associated with persons’ endorsement of hiding it. We explored this in two studies. Results from a regression analysis suggest that consumer moral disapproval of pornography and experiences of shame were associated with hiding behavior. Results from a path analysis suggest that the positive relationship between sexual conservatism and endorsement of hiding viewing from one’s committed partner is mediated by both moral incongruence (associated with viewing) and perception that pornography causes a host of harms. Persons with moral qualms related to their viewing were especially likely to endorse hiding it if they were shame-prone. These findings point to the importance of sexual values and shame in relation to persons hiding their viewing; they also suggest that individuals who internalize messaging that pornography causes serious harms are more likely to keep their viewing secret. This suggests that practitioners, policymakers, and advocates need to be circumspect about their messaging, avoiding shame-inducing rhetoric, while keeping in mind the centrality of people’s values in informing attitudes and behaviors about pornography.
... These findings add to the complexity of sexual self-labels, particularly in the message this may send MSM viewers about the potential for sexual agency held by bottoms. Promoting a narrative that bottoms can have sexual agency may have positive implications for sexual consent and communication, and in turn, sexual and relationship satisfaction (Greene et al., 2015;Holmberg & Blair, 2009;Jones et al., 2018). Future research should consider the role of sexual initiation and sexual agency according to MSM sexual self-labels. ...
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Heterosexual gender roles are not directly relevant to gay romantic relationships, but gay men often take on different relationship roles depending on their sexual roles. In the present paper, we argue that gay men might draw on sexually explicit media (SEM) featuring men who have sex with men (MSM) to get information about how insertive sexual partners (“tops”) and receptive sexual partners (“bottoms”) typically behave. For this to be the case, however, we would have to reliably observe different behavior in SEM performers acting as tops vs. bottoms. We examined 220 of the most viewed online dyadic MSM SEM videos to determine whether performed verbal and physical intimacy, victimization, and sexual behaviors depended on the sexual role taken. We found that tops and bottoms engaged in similar amounts of intimacy behaviors, but that bottoms were depicted as initiating sexual activity more than tops. Tops enacted physical and psychological victimization more than bottoms, although these behaviors were rare. Tops were shown taking the insertive role across all sexual acts and versatile performers (i.e., those taking both insertive and receptive roles) were rarely depicted. The present study adds to the literature about the complexity of sexual-self-labels, and suggests that MSM SEM depictions of intimacy and sexual decision-making depend on the sexual role taken.
... These results are especially compelling because this study was conducted in the Province of Quebec in Canada in which attitudes tend to be more liberal than in other parts of Canada or the United States (Hyde, DeLamater, & Byers, 2018). Thus, the prevalence of sexual problems and reduced sexual satisfaction may be even higher among clinical couples who hold more negative attitudes about sexuality or have more difficulty communicating about sex with their partner-both negative sexual attitudes and poor sexual communication are associated with lower sexual well-being (Jones, Robinson, & Seedall, 2017;Mac-Neil & Byers, 2009;Mark & Jozkowski, 2013). ...
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 sexual functioning. Thirty percent of couples reported a clinically significant sexual problem. Compared to their male partners, the women were more likely to report a sexual problem as well as lower dyadic adjustment, sexual satisfaction, and overall sexual functioning. Path analysis indicated that relationship adjustment uniquely predicted individuals’ own sexual satisfaction; problems in sexual functioning uniquely predicted own and partner sexual satisfaction. Findings underscore the need to address sexual problems in relationship therapy.
... Al hacer una revisión de la literatura sobre cómo se ha evaluado la comunicación sexual, generalmente, se toma en cuenta uno de los componentes, sobre todo el contenido (Dimbuene, 2015;Fernández, et al., 2017;González et al., 2017;López-Olmos, 2018;Uribe et al., 2016); el cual suele estar centrado en conductas sexuales, satisfacción sexual y su influencia en la díada de pareja. Esto puede verse en la Escala de Comunicación Diádica Sexual (dsc), el Cuestionario de Patrones de Comunicación Sexual s-cpq o la Escala de Comunicación Autopercibida en la Relación de Pareja (carp) (Anderson et al., 2016;Iglesias-García et al., 2019;Jones et al., 2017;Leonhardt et al., 2018;Martínez-Huertas y Jastrzebska, 2019;Pazmany et al., 2015;Rancourt et al., 2017;Rancourt et al., 2016). ...
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Objetivo: Diseñar y validar dos escalas de comunicación sexual con la pareja en hombres que tienen sexo con hombres, que en conjunto evalúan cinco componentes de la comunicación, contenido, extensión, estilo, tiempo y contexto. Metodología: Se dividió en dos fases, la primera para elaborar los reactivos que conforman cada escala, y la segunda para obtener sus propiedades psicométricas. En la primera fase participaron 200 hombres y en la segunda fase 1190 hombres, en ambos casos con una vida sexual activa, solteros y que reportaron tener sexo con hombres, la mitad de ellos con diagnóstico de VIH y cuya vía de infección fue por contacto sexual. Se aplicó la estrategia de redes semánticas naturales modificadas para obtener las principales definidoras a los estímulos: temas sexuales y comunicación sexual con la pareja, con base en los resultados, se diseñaron los reactivos para conformar dos escalas. En ambas fases la aplicación se realizó en una clínica especializada en atención de personas con VIH. Resultados: Los resultados de la validación muestra evidencias de validez de constructo y validez concurrente, así como la confiabilidad interna de cada escala mostrando propiedades psicométricas adecuadas. Conclusiones: Es necesario evaluar la comunicación considerando todos sus componentes para lo cual se requiere de instrumentos culturalmente válidos como las escalas presentadas en la presente investigación.
... The quantity of sexual intercourse has been described to be an indicator for overall quality of sexual health with greater levels of sexual-, relationship-and general life-satisfaction being associated with higher frequencies of sexual intercourse. 32,[40][41][42] Concerning sexual orientation, these data suggest a higher vulnerability for sexual wellbeing during the pandemic in bisexual and lesbian women. This finding is in line with previous empirical work showing that sexual minorities are psychologically more vulnerable with significantly lower levels in wellbeing and mental health compared to heterosexual individuals. ...
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Background: Preliminary research shows a substantial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women's sexual health, whereby empirical work on sexual well-being of minoritized sexual identities is still rare. Aim: The objective of this study was to explore sexual health in heterosexual, lesbian and bisexual cis women during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Methods: An anonymous nationwide online survey was conducted among cis women during the first nationwide lockdown in Germany from April 20th to July 20th, 2020. The questionnaire was distributed via e-mail, online chats and social-media platforms. Main Outcome Measures: Demographic variables and self-report measures from the Sexual Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ-G) "before the pandemic" and "since the pandemic" were collected. Results: A total of 1368 cis women participants were included: heterosexual women (n = 844), lesbian women (n = 293), bisexual women (n = 231). Results indicate overall decrease in frequency of sexual contacts and masturbation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Regarding differences before and during the pandemic lesbian women showed significant changes in sexual arousal whereas heterosexual women showed significant changes in all dimensions except capability to enjoy sexual intercourse. The data of bisexual women showed significant changes in almost all dimensions except for frequency of sexual intercourse and sexual arousal. Results of the multiple regression analysis revealed that being younger than 36 years-old, and being in a relationship as well as being heterosexual (compared with being lesbian) is positively associated with general satisfaction with sexual life during the pandemic. Clinical Implications: The findings suggest that during a pandemic sexual and mental health care for (cis) women should be provided and address the specific needs of sexual minority groups. Strengths & Limitations: This is the first study to describe sexual behavior in heterosexual, lesbian and bisexual women during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. Limitations, however, include the fact that the data described were obtained at only one time point so there is a possibility of recall bias, and that the results cannot be generalized because of the underrepresentation of women over age 46. Conclusion: This study examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social constraints on the sexual health of particular groups of lesbian and bisexual women, which may improve preparedness for future public health and policy crises.
... Therefore, no conclusions can be made regarding cause and effect. Future work will consider the impact of sexual communication, which predicts higher sexual satisfaction (Jones et al., 2018) and may be hampered by sexual rejection sensitivity. Future research should also explore other sources of sexual rejection SEXUAL GROWTH MINDSETS sensitivity other than growth mindsets (e.g., early sexual rejection experiences, inexperience, and attachment styles). ...
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Research suggests that having a sexual growth mindset (SGM), or believing that a person can become a better sexual partner over time, may improve sexual relationships. The present research investigated the impact of SGMs on a new sexual outcome: sexual rejection sensitivity. In Study 1, adults in romantic relationships completed measures of SGM and sexual rejection sensitivity from their own and from their partner’s perspective ( N = 377; 49.9% women; M age = 29.1 years, SD age = 12.2 years). Findings show that perceived partner, but not own, SGM is associated with lower sexual rejection sensitivity, and sexual rejection sensitivity mediated the link between perceived partner SGM and own sexual satisfaction. In Study 2, we replaced perceived partner SGM with actual partner SGM by recruiting both members of 104 different-sex romantic couples ( M age = 43.9 years, SD age = 14.5 years). Study 2 finds that partner, but not own, SGM was negatively associated with sexual rejection sensitivity. Further, sexual rejection sensitivity was negatively associated with sexual satisfaction in Study 1 and for women in Study 2. This work demonstrates the importance of sexual partners’ implicit beliefs about sexuality (perceived or reported) in understanding sexual outcomes.
... Any communication or negotiation around the meanings, functions and effects of sexual relations fall under this umbrella, including communication about expectations, interest, desires, and boundaries related to sexual activity; managing the interpersonal and social implications or consequences of sexual activity; and discussion of sexual health or initiation of sexual activity (Metts & Spitzberg, 1996). Certain types of sexual communication are more dangerous and can lead to sexual harassment (Metts & Spitzberg, 1996), while positive sexual communication can play a role in increasing sexual well-being (Mastro & Zimmer-Gembeck, 2015) and relationship satisfaction (Jones et al., 2018). Open sexual communication can help couples discuss important topics related to sexual health including contraceptive use (Tschann & Adler, 1997) and sexual history, including about STIs/HIV, which can help to reduce sexual risk (Curtin et al., 2011;Noar et al., 2006) (Cardé & Baker, 1984;Curtin et al., 2011;Noar et al., 2006). ...
Article
A lack of clarity exists regarding associations between sexting – an increasingly common form of sexual communication – and sexual risk taking. This is particularly relevant for younger, heterosexually-active women who are at elevated risk for sexually transmitted infections and may be likely to consent to sexting that is unwanted in response to partner pressure. Separately, attachment insecurity has been associated with overall sexting and unwanted (but consensual) sexting specifically. This study tested a model comprised of two paths linking attachment insecurity, sexting and sexual risk through 1) sexual communication skills and 2) smartphone-related expectancies. Participants included 2559 women (Mage = 23.07; SD = 3.04) who reported US residence and recent (past 60 day) sex with a male partner. Attachment anxiety and avoidance were negatively associated with the odds of sex with casual partners (both with and without condoms) through sexual communication and overall sexting. Attachment anxiety was positively associated with the odds of sex with casual partners (with and without condoms) through escape motivations and overall sexting. Simultaneously, attachment anxiety was associated with increased odds of condomless sex through escape motivations and unwanted sexting. Implications are discussed for smartphone-based, sexual risk reduction interventions targeting relationship expectancies, sexual communication, and emotional regulation.
... The questionnaire included 6 questions assessing frequency of specific sexual and intimate activities, including genital stimulation, receiving oral sex, giving oral sex, penile-vaginal intercourse, cuddling, and kissing. As in previous studies (Busby et al., 2020;Jones, Robinson, & Seedall, 2018;McNulty et al., 2016;Muise et al., 2016;Twenge, Sherman, & Wells, 2017), participants were asked how often they engaged in such activities during the last 12 months. Response options ranged from Not once (1), Once a month or less (2), Several times a month (3), Once or twice a week (4), A few times a week (5), Once a day (6), to More than once a day (7). ...
... These findings are consistent with a cross-sectional study that found when new mothers endorsed stronger sexual destiny beliefs, they and their partners reported lower relationship satisfaction (Maxwell et al., 2017). Past research indicates that destiny beliefs are associated with unhelpful coping behaviors, such as avoidance and distraction (Bohns et al., 2015;Sutherland & Rehman, 2018), which may interfere with relationship maintaining (e.g., supportive coping) behaviors that are associated with sexual well-being (Bodenmann et al., 2010;Jones et al., 2018). ...
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Beliefs about sexuality tend to become more salient during sexual challenges and are associated with how individuals respond to these difficulties and, in turn, their sexual well-being. The transition to parenthood is marked by significant changes to couples’ sexuality. As such, this period of vulnerability may be an important context in which these beliefs impact how couples manage sexual stressors and may have implications for their sexual well-being. In a longitudinal dyadic study, we examined whether couples’ sexual growth beliefs (e.g., beliefs that sexual problems can be resolved through effort) and sexual destiny beliefs (e.g., beliefs that sexual problems reflect incompatibility with their partner) correspond with changes to various facets of couples’ sexual well-being over time. First-time parent couples (N = 203) completed online surveys assessing these beliefs in pregnancy (32 weeks) and measures of sexual well-being (satisfaction, desire, and distress) in pregnancy (20 and 32 weeks) and across the postpartum period (3, 6, 9, 12 months). Dyadic latent growth curve models showed that expectant mothers who reported stronger sexual destiny beliefs in pregnancy reported higher sexual distress and lower sexual satisfaction at 3 months postpartum. When partners reported stronger sexual destiny beliefs in pregnancy, both they and new mothers reported greater sexual desire at 3 months postpartum. Unexpectedly, partners’ higher sexual growth beliefs in pregnancy predicted mothers’ lower sexual desire at 3 months postpartum. Sexual growth and destiny beliefs were not associated with change in couples’ sexual well-being beyond 3 months postpartum. Findings shed light on the potential benefits and costs of sexual growth and destiny beliefs for couples’ sexual well-being early in the postpartum period, but not over time.
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The ability to conceptualize and treat sexual problems has been widely accepted as a crucial skill to master the MFT training. However, clients’ sexual relationships are often ignored by clinicians because of a lack of experience or training, or personal discomfort. In this content analysis, we review sex and sex therapy research within MFT and family studies journals since the turn of the century. Of the 13,919 articles published within the 15 journals, 137 focused on sexuality or sex therapy. The articles were divided into five themes: sexual and relational health, sexual diversity, treatment and contributors of sexual dysfunction, sex therapy practices, and sexual education and development. Implications for clinical practices, sex therapy integration, and future research are discussed.
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The “orgasm gap” refers to the finding that cisgender men, on average, have more orgasms than cisgender women during heterosexual partnered sex. In the current research, we replicated evidence for several orgasm discrepancies across sexual contexts and assessed men’s and women’s perceptions of the orgasm gap. Our sample consisted of 276 heterosexual, cisgender, sexually active undergraduate students (56.52% women; M age = 18.84). We assessed participants’ self-reported orgasm frequencies with a familiar partner, with a new partner, and during masturbation, as well as participants’ perceptions of their partners’ orgasm frequencies. We found evidence for orgasm discrepancies between young men and women within contexts and for women across contexts. Additionally, men perceived the size of the orgasm gap to be smaller than women perceived it to be. We used qualitative analyses to assess participants’ perceptions of driving forces behind the orgasm gap and their responses could be grouped into five overarching themes: Sociocultural Influence, Women’s Orgasm Difficulty, Biology, Men’s Fault, and Interpersonal Communication. This qualitative data can inform education and advocacy efforts focused on improving orgasm outcomes for young women, particularly by disproving prominent biological justifications for orgasm difference and addressing relevant sociocultural concerns. Additional online materials for this article are available on PWQ’s website at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/suppl/10.1177/03616843221076410 .
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Purpose of Review The purpose of this review is to summarize the current knowledge on sexual communication among sexual and gender/sex diverse (SGD) groups. Complementing an existing review of the literature on safer-sex communication with SGD individuals (Parrillo & Brown, 2021), we focus on sexual communication related to promoting sexual satisfaction. Recent Findings The two-pathways model of sexual communication has yet to be generalized with SGD samples. Research comparing SGD with non-SGD individuals has varied in whether there are differences between groups. There is some evidence of differences between gender diverse and non-gender diverse groups in sexual communication. Emerging evidence of the unique strengths and challenges of sexual communication among gender/sex diverse groups highlights the importance of deepening gender/sex diverse-specific sexual communications research. Summary A lack of literature regarding sexual communication in SGD groups is reported. Results on whether there are differences between and/or within groups are mixed and confounded by inconsistent methodologies for measurement of demographic and sexual communication variables. Clearly, further research is needed to increase our understanding of sexual communication in SGD groups. As such, we provide recommendations for future research, specifically regarding inclusive demographic and analytical considerations.
Article
Objective: This study aimed to identify the relationships of the sexual self-efficacy with the sexual function in infertile women. Method: This cross-sectional study involved 105 women with infertility who participated in the study by completing the questionnaires of Sexual Self-Efficacy for female and Female Sexual Function Index. Results: The results show the significant relationships of the sensuality, communication, and self-acceptance with the sexual function of the women with infertility (p-value=0.021, 0.037, 0.018, respectively). Conclusions: These relationships partially reflect the complex and unique situation of the women with infertility in their life span. Nurses should always apply the caring principles and therapeutic communication while interacting with the women with an infertility problem.
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Purpose of Review Studies have consistently found that there is a gendered orgasm gap, with men experiencing orgasm more frequently than women in heterosexual sexual encounters. This literature review aims to highlight the current state of research on orgasm equality and to explore the reasons underlying this orgasm gap. Recent Findings Our review of recently published studies indicates that the gendered orgasm gap still exists today. Additionally, these studies underscore how sociocultural factors can contribute to the differences in reported orgasm frequency between men and women in heterosexual encounters. Summary This review suggests that our cultural prioritization of penile-vaginal intercourse over more clitorally focused sexual activities is linked to the gendered orgasm gap. Additional related contributing sociocultural factors may include women’s lack of entitlement to partnered sexual pleasure, societal scripts about masculinity, and women’s cognitive distractions during partnered sex. Recommendations to increase orgasm equality are discussed.
Article
This study presents the second part of a mixed methods exploration of couple sexual communication. The purpose of this study was to better understand the sexual communication processes that characterize various couple typologies. A qualitative content analysis was used to examine the responses of couples who were grouped together according to the typologies developed from the cluster analysis conducted in Part I of this study (Jones & Lucero Jones, 2022). The results revealed 3 primary themes regarding sexual communication: sexual communication behaviors, sexual decision-making processes, and sexual communication outcomes. Most importantly, the 15 subthemes revealed the inner workings of sexual communication in couples of varying typologies. Clinicians may use the findings from this study to recognize communication patterns in couples that may be contributing to sexual dissatisfaction. Furthermore, the study highlights critical sexual communication behaviors and patterns for improvement and connection in the sexual relationship.
Article
Background There is a high reported rate of sexual dysfunction among women with spina bifida, but little is known about the etiology of this or how sexual satisfaction could be improved. Aim To identify, through the words of women with spina bifida, perceived causes of diminished sexual satisfaction and recommendations to optimize partnered sexual encounters. Methods In this qualitative study, we conducted semi-structured individual interviews with 22 women with spina bifida (median age 26.5 years, range 16–52 years) who have had a romantic partner. Using Grounded Theory, interviews were independently coded by 3 reviewers. Disagreements were resolved by consensus. Outcomes We identified overlapping themes of issues women experienced during sexual intimacy and strategies they learned to improve sexual encounters. Results 7 salient themes emerged from the data: (i) fear of rejection with resulting difficulty setting boundaries and the risk of coercion; (ii) conflict between spontaneity and self-care in sexual encounters; (iii) worry about incontinence during sex; (iv) trial and error in learning optimal sexual positions; (v) decreased genital sensation; (vi) safety considerations; and (vii) sharing advice with other women with spina bifida. Clinical Implications As sexual satisfaction is influenced by physical features as well as psychological, interpersonal, and sociocultural factors, optimizing sexual satisfaction of women with spina bifida is best managed with a holistic approach utilizing a biopsychosocial model. Strengths & Limitations The sample included women with a diverse range of functional impairments. Women were forthright with their comments and thematic saturation was reached. Recruitment was primarily from a single Midwestern institution, which may have limited sampled perspectives. Conclusion While women with spina bifida encounter challenges during sexual encounters, strategies focused on improving communication with partners and addressing specific physical considerations can potentially enhance their sexual experiences. Streur CS, Schafer CL, Garcia VP, et al. “I Tell Them What I Can Feel and How Far My Legs Can Bend”: Optimizing Sexual Satisfaction for Women With Spina Bifida. J Sex Med 2020;XX;XXX–XXX.
Article
Sexual health is critical to overall well-being, yet it is challenging and uncomfortable to discuss. Individuals frequently encounter uncertainty about their sexual health as they experience bodily changes, navigate romantic or sexual relationships, and explore their identities. In this study, we called on uncertainty management theory to guide an investigation of sexual health uncertainty. Specifically, we asked how people use social support to manage their sexual health uncertainty in online forums. Grounded theory analyses revealed that negative emotions, avoidance, and pursuing medical care prompted people to seek emotional and informational support online, and support served three functions: integrating information, assessing risk, and strategizing communication. The results point to stigma as a driving force in sexual health discussions online and imply practical recommendations for sexual education, communication about sexual topics, and patient-provider relationships.
Article
Couples coping with depression are prone to unique and pervasive sexual intimacy challenges and experience troubles communicating effectively. Successful sexual communication improves sexual and relationship satisfaction, making communication particularly important for couples facing sexual difficulties. In this study, the relational turbulence model serves as a framework to examine associations between sexual communication and both sexual and relationship satisfaction in couples ( N = 106) in which one or both partners live with depression. Results of a cross-sectional survey suggest sexual communication mediates relationships between both relational uncertainty and interference from a partner with sexual/relationship satisfaction. Results illuminate functions of communication about sex as couples navigate sexual and relational effects of depression.
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the influence of self-esteem and sexual communication on sexual satisfaction among female colorectal cancer patients with ostomy.Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using self-reported online questionnaires. The participants were 85 women with colorectal cancer who had undergone ostomy formation surgery. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the t-test, analysis of variance, the Scheffé test, correlation coefficients, and hierarchical multiple regression with SPSS version 26.0.Results: The mean sexual satisfaction score was 2.79±0.73 (range, 0~5). There was no significant relationship between self-esteem and sexual satisfaction. Sexual communication had a significant correlation with sexual satisfaction (r=.83, p<.001) and was a strong predictor of sexual satisfaction (β=.83, p<.001).Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that colorectal cancer patients with ostomy experience low sexual satisfaction and that sexual communication is a meaningful factor for sexual satisfaction. Accordingly, nurses need to factor in sexual issues when caring for patients, and should encourage both patients and their partners to participate in education related to sexual health. It will also be helpful to inform patients about the importance of sexual communication with their partners as a sustainable intervention.
Chapter
The chapter starts by describing what communication is, how it differs from sexual communication, and how sexual communication affects marital relations. It ends with suggestions to improve sexual communication in order to enhance a couple’s bonding.
Article
Objective: To develop a valid and reliable scale to asses perceived sexual resentment among married women. Methods: The cross-sectional validation study was conducted from September 2018 to July 2019 at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, and had three phases. Phase I comprised initial generation/selection of items regarding sexual resentment among married women. Phase II comprised pilot testing of the perceived sexual resentment scale for women items before applying the scale on the actual sample. Phase III determined convergent validity by estimating correlation of the newly developed scale with the Sexual Coercion in Intimate Relationship Scale, and its divergent validity by finding correlation with the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Data was analysed using SPSS 23. Results: The pilot study, done on 20 married women, established the internal consistency of the newly developed scale (α=0.82). Overall, three factors emerged following factor analysis. The scale had 29 items and reliability analysis of the entire scale indicated adequate internal consistency (α=0.93). The convergent validity of the scale and the Sexual Coercion in Intimate Relationship Scale was positive (p<0.001), and the correlation with the Satisfaction with Life Scale was negative (p<0.01), indicating that the newly-developed instrument had a good convergent and divergent validity. Conclusions: The Perceived Sexual Resentment Scale for Women was found to be a precise and concise 29-item self-reporting tool developed to assess sexual dislikes and displeasures among married women.
Article
Background: Given the effect of various factors on the use of communication patterns by couples,this study aimed to determine the most common communication pattern among couples and related factors in Sari, northern Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 520 people (260 couples) in Sari. Data were collected using a demographic–fertility factors questionnaire, Enrich couple scale, communication patterns questionnaire, general health questionnaire (GHQ-28), and NEO personality inventory. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 25 using descriptive and inferential statistics (multiple regression model). Results: While the mean (standard deviation) age of women included in the study was 34.08 (7.71) years, the mean age of men was 39.13 (9.18) years. The most common communication patterns in both women and men was the mutual constructive communication, whereas the lowest frequent communication pattern was the demand/withdraw communication in both men and women. Marital satisfaction had a significant positive correlation with mutual constructive communication pattern in women and men (P = 0.001). In addition, a significant inverse correlation was observed between the number of marriage to date, women's age, and spouses' demand/withdraw communication pattern with mutual constructive communication pattern in women. Also, a significant inverse correlation was observed between flexibility (P = 0.047), number of marriages (P = 0.013), and the wives' age (P = 0.005) with mutual constructive communication pattern in men. Conclusion: According to the results of the study, it is necessary to recognize the factors related to couples' communication patterns in order to improve the communication patterns so that marital conflicts could be avoided while a more effective communication is established.
Article
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Background: Given the effect of various factors on the use of communication patterns by couples, this study aimed to determine the most common communication pattern among couples and related factors in Sari, northern Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 520 people (260 couples) in Sari. Data were collected using a demographic-fertility factors questionnaire, Enrich couple scale, communication patterns questionnaire, general health questionnaire (GHQ-28), and NEO personality inventory. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 25 using descriptive and inferential statistics (multiple regression model). Results: While the mean (standard deviation) age of women included in the study was 34.08 (7.71) years, the mean age of men was 39.13 (9.18) years. The most common communication patterns in both women and men was the mutual constructive communication, whereas the lowest frequent communication pattern was the demand/withdraw communication in both men and women. Marital satisfaction had a significant positive correlation with mutual constructive communication pattern in women and men (P = 0.001). In addition, a significant inverse correlation was observed between the number of marriage to date, women's age, and spouses' demand/withdraw communication pattern with mutual constructive communication pattern in women. Also, a significant inverse correlation was observed between flexibility (P = 0.047), number of marriages (P = 0.013), and the wives' age (P = 0.005) with mutual constructive communication pattern in men. Conclusion: According to the results of the study, it is necessary to recognize the factors related to couples' communication patterns in order to improve the communication patterns so that marital conflicts could be avoided while a more effective communication is established.
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____**Einleitung**___ Seit den 1960er-Jahren wird in Wissenschaft, Frauenbewegung und breiter Öffentlichkeit darüber diskutiert, dass und warum Frauen beim Heterosex seltener Orgasmen erleben als Männer und ob und wie man diesen Gender Orgasm Gap schließen kann. Im Rahmen eines bio-psycho-sozialen Verständnisses von Sexualität werden Gender Orgasm Gaps theoretisch sehr unterschiedlich erklärt. ___**Forschungsziele**___ Ziel des vorliegenden Forschungsüberblicks ist es, die bisherigen empirischen Befunde zur Größe des Gender Orgasm Gap zu berichten sowie die vorgeschlagenen Praxismaßnahmen zu seiner Überwindung zu präsentieren und kritisch zu diskutieren. ___**Methoden**___ Im Zuge einer systematischen Literaturrecherche wurden n = 20 empirische Publikationen zum Gender Orgasm Gap und zusätzlich n = 16 wissenschaftliche Originalarbeiten zu seinem Abbau identifiziert und kodiert (1982–2021). ___**Ergebnisse**___ Die eingeschlossenen Umfragen basieren auf Angaben von N = 49 940 Frauen und N = 48 329 Männern und zeigen, dass typischerweise 30 % bis 60 % der befragten Frauen berichten, beim Heterosex zum Orgasmus zu kommen, im Unterschied zu 70 % bis 100 % der Männer. Je nach Rahmenbedingungen des Heterosex schwankt die Größe des Gender Orgasm Gap zwischen –20 % und –72 % zuungunsten der Frauen. Die vorliegenden zehn bevölkerungsrepräsentativen Umfragen ergeben einen gewichteten mittleren Gender Orgasm Gap von –30 % [95 %iges Konfidenzintervall: –31 %; –30 %]. Die in der bisherigen Fachliteratur vorgeschlagenen Maßnahmen zum Schließen dieser Orgasmus-Lücke beziehen sich auf personale Faktoren, Beziehungsfaktoren, sexuelle Interaktionsfaktoren und gesellschaftliche Faktoren: Frauen wird empfohlen, den eigenen Orgasmus bewusster anzustreben und in der Beziehung offener über sexuelle Wünsche zu sprechen. Zudem wird Frauen und Männern geraten, mehr direkte klitorale Stimulation in den Heterosex zu integrieren und Orgasmen von Frauen gesellschaftlich zu demarginalisieren. ___**Schlussfolgerung**___ Aus dem bisherigen Forschungsstand leitet sich die Notwendigkeit ab, Fragen rund um den Gender Orgasm Gap weiterhin in Wissenschaft und Praxis zu bearbeiten. Angesichts der begrenzten Erfolge der letzten Dekaden scheint es jedoch auch geboten, die bisher verfolgten Ansätze im „Kampf um Orgasmus-Gerechtigkeit“ kritisch zu hinterfragen.
Article
Sexual assertiveness is one of the main issues in the sexual relationships between couples. Since substance dependence might disrupt this relationship, the present cross-sectional study was conducted to assess and compare sexual assertiveness in women with and without substance-dependent partners living in Tehran, Iran. To assess sexual assertiveness, the Hurlbert Index of Sexual Assertiveness was used. The data then were compared between the study samples. Logistic regression analysis was performed. In all 300 women with and without substance-dependent partners entered into the study. The mean age of women was 37.31 ± 8.79 and 32.70 ± 7.24 years respectively. The mean score of sexual assertiveness was 50.66 ± 14.31 in the women with substance-dependent partners and 58.42 ± 13.86 in those with non-substance-dependent partners (P < .001). In addition, sexual assertiveness differed significantly among subgroups of women having a partner using different types of substances (P = .039). The risk of lower assertiveness for women with substance-dependent partners was 2.2 times more than women with non-substance-dependent partners (OR = 2.2, 95% CI: 1.28–3.70; P = .004). Indeed, the partner’s substance dependency is an issue that is worthy of attention in sexual and marital counseling. Perhaps sexual assertiveness can be improved in women with substance-dependent partners through the implementation of appropriate interventions, such as educational and counseling programs.
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Communication is an important component of many healthy sexual and romantic relationships. Positive communication strategies including expressing fondness and affection, exchanging compliments, and disclosing information about oneself with a partner are associated with relationship and sexual satisfaction, but less is known about its association to sexual desire. Most of the current literature has used traditional statistical analyses that assume errors are normally distributed and that associations between variables are linear. Our study aimed to examine the ways daily levels of four positive communication strategies are associated with relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and sexual desire among 246 mixed sex couples (N = 492). We also compared traditional hierarchical linear modeling with machine learning to compare results from the different data analytic techniques. Findings indicated that daily positive communication received from a partner was associated with all outcome variables of interest that day for both partners in the couple. All positive communication strategies predicted daily levels of desire, sexual satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction for the individual and each had unique associations with partner outcomes. Unique nonlinear interactions were found using machine learning. Findings have implications for practitioners and provide insight into the differences in findings between traditional analyses and machine learning.
Article
The study aimed to understand how women who experienced sexual trauma but are now in a healthy relationship perceive their partners' responses to their disclosure of sexual trauma. Forty-one women completed an in-depth semi-structured phone interview. Responses were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis, identifying two overarching themes and six subthemes. The results provide a voice to the needs and preferences of women who experienced sexual trauma, but are navigating communication in a healthy relationship. Given that most women disclosed their experiences with partners, this sample provides valuable insight for clinicians, interventionists, and partners of survivors to navigate supportive interactions.
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Very little research has examined sexual satisfaction in young gay, bisexual, queer, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM). Sexual satisfaction has important implications for individual wellbeing and is a central component of romantic relationship functioning and satisfaction. In order to fill this gap, this study examined interpersonal and intrapersonal factors associated with sexual satisfaction in a large sample of young male couples. Data for these analyses came from the baseline visits of two ongoing randomized controlled trials of 2GETHER, a relationship education and HIV prevention program for young male couples. Participants for the current analytic sample were 419 couples (individual N = 838) from across the United States who were diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, HIV status, and geographic region. Analyses found that relationship functioning (i.e., relationship satisfaction, communication) was positively associated with sexual satisfaction, while not having a specified relationship agreement (i.e., monogamy/non-monogamy agreement) was associated with less sexual satisfaction. Intrapersonal factors (i.e., depression, substance use) were associated with sexual satisfaction, but most of these effects became non-significant in a full multivariate model. Relationship functioning plays a central role in sexual satisfaction and should be addressed in couple-based programs to optimize relationship functioning and sexual health.
Article
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This study examined the impact of general and sexual communication on couples’ overall and sexual satisfaction. Data were collected from 116 heterosexual, monogamous couples in relationships of at least three months’ duration. Open sexual communication accounted for unique variance in both sexual and overall relationship satisfaction; general communication effectiveness did so only for overall satisfaction. The relationship between open sexual communication and overall satisfaction was stronger for males, and the relationship between open sexual communication and sexual satisfaction was stronger for couples who had been together longer. The three-way interaction of open sexual communication, relationship length, and gender significantly predicted overall relationship satisfaction but not sexual satisfaction. Sexual satisfaction mediated the relationship between open sexual communication and overall satisfaction.
Article
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This study was designed to systematically compare and contrast the psychometric properties of three scales developed to measure sexual satisfaction and a single-item measure of sexual satisfaction. The Index of Sexual Satisfaction (ISS), Global Measure of Sexual Satisfaction (GMSEX), and the New Sexual Satisfaction Scale-Short (NSSS-S) were compared to one another and to a single-item measure of sexual satisfaction. Conceptualization of the constructs, distribution of scores, internal consistency, convergent validity, test-retest reliability, and factor structure were compared between the measures. A total of 211 men and 214 women completed the scales and a measure of relationship satisfaction, with 33% (n = 139) of the sample reassessed two months later. All scales demonstrated appropriate distribution of scores and adequate internal consistency. The GMSEX, NSSS-S, and the single-item measure demonstrated convergent validity. Test-retest reliability was demonstrated by the ISS, GMSEX, and NSSS-S, but not the single-item measure. Taken together, the GMSEX received the strongest psychometric support in this sample for a unidimensional measure of sexual satisfaction and the NSSS-S received the strongest psychometric support in this sample for a bidimensional measure of sexual satisfaction.
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Sexual satisfaction is an important indicator of sexual health and is strongly associated with relationship satisfaction. However, research exploring lay definitions of sexual satisfaction has been scarce. We present thematic analysis of written responses of 449 women and 311 men to the question "How would you define sexual satisfaction?" The participants were heterosexual individuals with a mean age of 36.05 years (SD = 8.34) involved in a committed exclusive relationship. In this exploratory study, two main themes were identified: personal sexual well-being and dyadic processes. The first theme focuses on the positive aspects of individual sexual experience, such as pleasure, positive feelings, arousal, sexual openness, and orgasm. The second theme emphasizes relational dimensions, such as mutuality, romance, expression of feelings, creativity, acting out desires, and frequency of sexual activity. Our results highlight that mutual pleasure is a crucial component of sexual satisfaction and that sexual satisfaction derives from positive sexual experiences and not from the absence of conflict or dysfunction. The findings support definitions and models of sexual satisfaction that focus on positive sexual outcomes and the use of measures that incorporate items linked to personal and dyadic sexual rewards for both men and women.
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The following paper presents current thinking and research on fit indices for structural equation modelling. The paper presents a selection of fit indices that are widely regarded as the most informative indices available to researchers. As well as outlining each of these indices, guidelines are presented on their use. The paper also provides reporting strategies of these indices and concludes with a discussion on the future of fit indices.
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This study models the individual and dyadic associations between relational uncertainty, indirect communication about sexual intimacy, and sexual satisfaction within marital relationships. A sample of 220 married couples completed questionnaires about their sexual relationship, and hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). Results indicate that (a) relational uncertainty is positively associated with indirect communication about sexual intimacy for both husbands and wives, (b) indirect sexual communication is negatively associated with husbands’ and wives’ own sexual satisfaction, (c) husbands’ and wives’ sexual satisfaction and indirectness about sexual intimacy are positively associated, and (d) husbands’ and wives’ indirect communication about sexual intimacy are negatively associated with their spouse’s sexual satisfaction. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for understanding the dynamics of sexual intimacy within marriage.
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The Communication Patterns Questionnaire—Short Form (CPQ-SF) is an 11-item self-assessment of spouses’ perceptions of marital interactions. A cited reference review of the CPQ-SF literature revealed no formal assessment of its psychometric properties and that researchers are imprecise in their use, reporting, and referencing of the measure. Toward improving the use of the CPQ-SF in research and practice, the factor structure and psychometric properties of this scale were examined with data collected from a diverse sample of 477 married individuals. Three latent constructs were identified: criticize/defend, discuss/avoid, and positive interaction patterns. Suggestions for a more precise use of the CPQ-SF in research and practice conclude the article.
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This study aimed to examine in a sample of college-age heterosexual couples the relations between (a) relationship and sexual satisfaction and (b) sexual and nonsexual communication. The authors tested a mediation model whereby couples' relationship satisfaction was hypothesized to predict couples' sexual satisfaction by way of sexual and nonsexual communication levels. Participants were 266 individuals (133 couples) who completed measures of satisfaction and communication independently of their partner. A mediation model, tested with structural equation modeling, showed the degree to which couples were relationally satisfied was positively related to their level of sexual and nonsexual communication, which, in turn, was positively associated with their degree of sexual satisfaction. Results indicate that levels of sexual and nonsexual communication among couples affect the link between relationship and sexual satisfaction. Such findings may have important implications for college-age couples in committed relationships who are looking to improve satisfaction as well as for therapists, counselors, and educators who work with these couples to improve relationship and/or sexual satisfaction.
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The recent literature on human sexuality emphasizes the importance of sexual communication. The present research reports the results of three studies documenting the development and validation of an instrument concerned with sexual communication, the Sexual Self-Disclosure Scale (SSDS). The results in Study I indicated that the twelve SSDS subscales were highly reliable and that women were more willing to discuss the topics on the SSDS with female than male therapists. A second study revealed that men''s and women''s responses to the SSDS were related in meaningful, predictable ways to their sexual-esteem, sexual-depression and sexual-preoccupation, as measured by the Sexuality Scale. In Study III, the SSDS was revised to include a wider variety of sexual topics dealing with sexual behaviors, values-preferences, attitudes, and feelings. The results from Study III indicated that men''s and women''s responses to the SSDS-R varied as a function of their own gender and the content of the sexual topics. The discussion focuses on the increased need for communication about sexual issues, the implications of the present findings for intimate relationships, and the possible uses of the Sexual Self-Disclosure Scale in the study of human sexuality.
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This study examined the vocabulary husbands and wives use for talking to each other about sex, and connections between language use and relational qualities. Married people (n = 293) responded to a questionnaire about their use of common sex-related terms and about several characteristics of their marriage: sexual communication satisfaction, relational satisfaction, and relational closeness. Cluster analysis based on reported use revealed that sexual terms fell into clusters characterized as clinical terms, slang, or standard English. Results showed an association between use of sexual terms, particularly slang terms, and both satisfaction and closeness. This connection was stronger for women than for men. The findings offer insight into sexual talk and marital relationships.
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The way couples communicate during conflict discussions has been found to be a reliable predictor of marital satisfaction. However, in previous research, there has been little experimental control over the selection of topics. The present study examined, in a sample of 15 newlywed couples, whether affective displays during the discussion of a sexual and a nonsexual conflict topic differentially predict current marital satisfaction. Communication behaviors were coded using an adaptation of the Specific Affect Coding System, resulting in composite "negative behavior" and "positive behavior" categories. Data were analyzed using multilevel modeling. Negative behaviors displayed during the nonsexual conflict discussions were not significantly related to concurrent self-reported relationship satisfaction. In contrast, for wives, negative behaviors displayed during the discussion of a sexual problem were significantly related to lower levels of relationship satisfaction. For the sexual and nonsexual conflict discussions, positive behaviors were positively associated with relationship satisfaction, although this effect did not reach statistical significance. Overall, the authors' findings emphasize the importance of incorporating sexual variables in the study of marriage. Furthermore, their study represents an important step in recognizing that marital research benefits from an examination of specific topics of conflict as a factor to consider in studies of marital functioning.
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In this meta-analytic study, the authors examined the efficacy of marriage and relationship education (MRE) on 2 common outcomes: relationship quality and communication skills. A thorough search produced 86 codable reports that yielded 117 studies and more than 500 effect sizes. The effect sizes for relationship quality for experimental studies ranged from d = .30 to .36, while the communication skills effect sizes ranged from d = .43 to .45. Quasi-experimental studies generated smaller effect sizes, but these appeared to be due to pretest group differences. Moderate-dosage programs produced larger effect sizes than did low-dosage programs. For communication skills, published studies had larger effects than those of unpublished studies at follow-up; there were no publication differences for relationship quality. There was no evidence of a gender difference. Unfortunately, a lack of racial/ethnic and economic diversity in the samples prevented reliable conclusions about the effectiveness of MRE for disadvantaged couples, a crucial deficit in the body of research. In addition, intervention outcomes important to policy makers, such as relationship stability and aggression, rarely have been addressed.
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Communication problems are among the most common complaints brought to couples' counseling and are believed to play a central role in the development and maintenance of many sexual dysfunctions. The present study examined self-reported communication patterns within heterosexual couples where the wife is experiencing anorgasmia and within two groups of control couples. As hypothesized, couples with an anorgasmic female partner reported more problematic communication regarding issues of sexuality than did control couples. In particular, the anorgasmic women and their male partners reported significantly more discomfort than did controls in discussing sexual activities associated with direct clitoral stimulation. The etiologic and treatment implications of these differences are discussed.
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Structural equation modeling (SEM) can be adapted in a relatively straightforward fashion to analyze data from interchangeable dyads (i.e., dyads in which the 2 members cannot be differentiated). The authors describe a general strategy for SEM model estimation, comparison, and fit assessment that can be used with either dyad-level or pairwise (double-entered) dyadic data. They present applications illustrating this approach with the actor-partner interdependence model, confirmatory factor analysis, and latent growth curve analysis.
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The present study took a critical look at a central construct in couples research: relationship satisfaction. Eight well-validated self-report measures of relationship satisfaction, including the Marital Adjustment Test (MAT; H. J. Locke & K. M. Wallace, 1959), the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS; G. B. Spanier, 1976), and an additional 75 potential satisfaction items, were given to 5,315 online participants. Using item response theory, the authors demonstrated that the MAT and DAS provided relatively poor levels of precision in assessing satisfaction, particularly given the length of those scales. Principal-components analysis and item response theory applied to the larger item pool were used to develop the Couples Satisfaction Index (CSI) scales. Compared with the MAS and the DAS, the CSI scales were shown to have higher precision of measurement (less noise) and correspondingly greater power for detecting differences in levels of satisfaction. The CSI scales demonstrated strong convergent validity with other measures of satisfaction and excellent construct validity with anchor scales from the nomological net surrounding satisfaction, suggesting that they assess the same theoretical construct as do prior scales. Implications for research are discussed.
Chapter
Because of the prevalence of both nonnormal and categorical data in empirical research, this chapter focuses on issues surrounding the use of data with these characteristics. Specifically, we review the assumptions underlying NT estimators. We describe nonnormal and categorical data and review robustness studies of the most popular NT estimator, maximum likelihood (ML), in order to understand the consequences of violating these assumptions. Most importantly, we discuss three popular strategies often used to accommodate nonnormal and/or categorical data in SEM: 1. Weighted least squares (WLS) estimation, 2. Satorra-Bentler (S-B) scaled χ² and robust standard errors, and 3. Robust diagonally weighted least squares (DWLS) estimation. For each strategy, we present the following: (a) a description of the strategy, (b) a summary of research concerning the robustness of the χ²-statistic, other fit indices, parameter estimates, and standard errors, and (c) a description of implementation across three software programs.
Book
Emerging adulthood - the period between the late teens and mid-twenties - is a unique and important developmental period during which people gain relationship experience before settling on someone to partner with. Romantic Relationships in Emerging Adulthood presents a synthesis of cutting-edge research and theory on this topic. Leading scholars from demography, sociology, family studies, and psychology provide original data and theoretical analyses that address the formation, nature, and significance of romantic relationships in emerging adults. Until recently, it was assumed that romantic relationships in emerging adults were not particularly important or formative. The material presented allows this assumption to be thoroughly evaluated. This volume is intended to be a resource for anyone interested in understanding romantic relationships in emerging adulthood. It is especially appropriate for classroom use in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in the fields of family sociology, human development and family studies, clinical and developmental psychology, and social work.
Article
This study examined the relationships between sexual problems, sexual self-disclosure and sexual satisfaction in a community sample. Fifty-three women and 34 men in long-term, heterosexual relationships returned completed questionnaires. A majority of the men and women reported that they had experienced one or more sexual concerns or problems in the past 18 months. For both men and women, an increasing number of sexual concerns and problems for self and for partner was associated with decreased sexual satisfaction. Both better communication in general, and disclosure of specific sexual likes and dislikes in particular, were associated with increased sexual satisfaction. However, the quality of communication did not alter the relationship between sexual problems and concerns and sexual satisfaction. Implications for sex therapy and future research are discussed.
Article
There is increasing recognition that human development is embedded in interpersonal contexts throughout the lifespan (e.g., Reis, Collins, & Berscheid, 2000), and this is especially true of development during emerging adulthood. Indeed, a salient developmental task of this period is to negotiate the challenges of establishing intimate relationships with romantic partners (Arnett, 2000, 2004). Researchers who pursue studies of relationships during this period of the lifespan therefore need both conceptual and methodological sophistication with respect to dyadic data analysis. Despite the fact that interdependent data present special analytic challenges (e.g., Kashy & Snyder, 1995; Kenny, 1998; Kenny, Kashy, & Cook, 2006), the application of appropriate statistical techniques for dyadic data offers important opportunities to better understand the nature and functioning of relationships. As such, the broad objective of this chapter is to introduce researchers to the methodological and analytic issues that are most relevant when considering dyadic data from romantic couples. Our chapter builds on a recent monograph published by Kenny et al. (2006), and we readily acknowledge that a relatively short chapter cannot serve as a substitute for a book-length treatment of the relevant issues. Even so, this chapter expands on some of the most fundamental topics in that book and provides a gentle introduction to the major issues that are prominent when studying romantic dyads.
Article
To assess the effect of on-demand intranasal oxytocin administration on female sexual function and activity. Randomized, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial with duration of 22 weeks. Academic medical center. Thirty pre-and postmenopausal women with sexual dysfunction. Over 8 weeks, intranasal oxytocin (32 IU) or placebo self-administered by women within 50 minutes before sexual intercourse; after a washout period of 2 weeks, crossover with patients switched to the alternate group for another 8 weeks. Primary outcome parameter: Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI); secondary outcome parameters: Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS), Sexual Quality of Life-Female (SQOL-F), Sexual Interest and Desire Inventory-Female (SIDI-F), and Hamilton depression scale (HDS). After oxytocin and placebo, the FSFI score increased by 26% and 31%, SQOL-F score by 144% and 125%, and SIDI-F score by 29% and 23%, respectively (repeated measures analysis of variance between groups). After oxytocin and placebo, the FSDS score decreased by 36% and 45%, respectively (repeated measures analysis of variance between groups). There was no statistically significant treatment, sequence (placebo first/second), or interaction effect. Long-term intranasal oxytocin and placebo administration both improved sexual function and symptoms of depression in women over time with no treatment, sequence (placebo first/second), or interaction effect. NCT02229721. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Article
While Masters and Johnson will be remembered for creating Sensate Focus as the foundation of sex therapy, confusion still abounds about its implementation and about the conceptualization of sex as a natural function that underlies it. Sensate Focus and sex as a natural function are clarified and explored. The crucial difference between the intended aim of non-demand touching for one's own interest and the misleading interpretation of non-demand pleasuring of the partner is emphasized. By mindfully being present to sensations in the moment, and refraining from forcing pleasure and arousal, clients can move towards the optimal intimacy they desire.
Article
We examined two proposed pathways between sexual self-disclosure and sexual satisfaction. According to the proposed expressive pathway, reciprocal sexual self-disclosure contributes to relationship satisfaction, which in turn leads to greater sexual satisfaction. According to the instrumental pathway, own sexual self-disclosure leads to greater partner understanding of sexual likes and dislikes, which in turn leads to a more favorable balance of sexual rewards and costs and thus to higher sexual satisfaction. Seventy-four heterosexual dating couples completed questionnaires assessing self-disclosure, sexual and relationship satisfaction, as well as own and partner positive and negative sexual exchanges. Support was found for the instrumental pathway for both women and men and for the expressive pathway for women. For men, the expressive pathway was between own nonsexual self-disclosure and sexual satisfaction. These results are interpreted in light of the more instrumental role for men in sexual relationships.
Article
Emotional and sexual aspects of intimacy in romantic relationships are important correlates of couples' relationship satisfaction. However, few studies have examined the effect of emotional and sexual aspects of intimacy on relationship satisfaction within the context of the interpersonal relationship processes. In addition, the association between emotional and sexual aspects of intimacy remains unclear. With a sample of 335 married couples from the Flourishing Families Project, the authors examined the associations between couple communication, emotional intimacy, sexual satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction, using the couple as the unit of analysis. The results of path analysis suggested that sexual satisfaction significantly predicted emotional intimacy for husbands and wives, while emotional intimacy did not appear to have a significant influence on sexual satisfaction. Further, mediation associations were suggested within as well as between spouses. Within spouses (for each spouse), emotional intimacy and sexual satisfaction mediated the association between spouses' appraisal of their partners' communication and their own relationship satisfaction. Gender differences were revealed in terms of how a spouse's perception of sexual satisfaction is associated with his or her partner's relationship satisfaction. In this study, although wives' relationship satisfaction was not associated with their husbands' sexual satisfaction, husbands tended to report high levels of relationship satisfaction when their wives reported greater sexual satisfaction. Findings suggest that both components of intimacy-emotional and sexual-should be comprehensively addressed in research and clinical work with couples.
Article
Although parents greatly influence children’s early understandings of sexuality, little is known about how sexual communication transpires in Asian American families. Accordingly, the authors examined the amount and type of parental sexual communication recalled by 165 Asian American college students. Parents were perceived as providing very little information about a range of sexual topics. Communication was most minimal from fathers, among sons, and in homes marked with language barriers. At the same time, however, most participants could recall receiving restrictive sexual messages, in particular, daughters and participants having less acculturated parents. Qualitative results shed light on the specific types of sexual messages that parents provided. Together, results suggest that Asian American parents use implicit and nonverbal ways to communicate their sexual values.
Article
This study examined dating individuals' self‐disclosure about their sexual likes and dislikes to their partner. Forty‐seven college men and 52 college women in a dating relationship of 3 to 36 months completed a questionnaire measuring sexual exchange variables, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, sexual communication satisfaction, and sexual and non‐sexual self‐disclosure with their partner. Both sexual and nonsexual self‐disclosure were at the level of revealing some detail but not fully disclosing personal attitudes and feelings. Participants reported self‐disclosing significantly more about non‐sexual than about sexual topics. Sexual and nonsexual self‐disclosure were related to sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and sexual communication satisfaction. Sexual self‐disclosure was uniquely related to sexual communication satisfaction when nonsexual self‐disclosure was controlled, but was not uniquely associated with relationship satisfaction or sexual satisfaction. The study provided evidence that both sexual exchanges and relationship satisfaction mediate the relationship between sexual self‐disclosure and sexual satisfaction as proposed by Cupach and Metts (1991). The results of a series of analyses suggest that self‐disclosure affects sexual satisfaction through two routes. First, sexual self‐disclosure may increase sexual rewards in the relationship. Second, it may increase overall relationship satisfaction. Both increased sexual rewards and increased relationship satisfaction, in turn, enhance sexual satisfaction.
Article
The “Good-Enough Sex” model presents a commonsense yet comprehensive perspective that challenges simplistic notions of sex and encourages couples to pursue positive, realistic meaning in their intimate lives. With the Good-Enough Sex model, intimacy is the ultimate focus, with pleasure as important as function, and mutual emotional acceptance as the environment. Sex is integrated into the couple's daily life and daily life is integrated into their sex life to create the couple's unique sexual style. Living daily life well – with its responsibilities, stresses, and conflicts – provides the opportunity to experience sexual interactions in a subtly yet distinctively personalized and enriched way. Sex at times is experienced as pleasure, stress relief, mature playfulness, and on another occasion as a spiritual union. Intimate couples can value multiple purposes for sex and use several styles of arousal. Good-Enough Sex is congruent with the couple's genuine lifestyle. Good-Enough Sex recognizes that among satisfied couples the quality of sex varies from day to day and from very good to mediocre or even dysfunctional. Such reasonable expectations are an important feature of sexual satisfaction as well as inoculating the couple from disappointment and sexual problems in the future. The Good-Enough Sex perspective serves as the foundation for relationship and sexual satisfaction.
Article
A large body of scientific research documents four important gender differences in sexuality. First, on a wide variety of measures, men show greater sexual desire than do women. Second, compared with men, women place greater emphasis on com- mitted relationships as a context for sexuality. Third, aggression is more strongly linked to sexuality for men than for women. Fourth, women's sexuality tends to be more malleable and capable of change over time. These male-female differences are pervasive, affecting thoughts and feelings as well as behavior, and they charac- terize not only heterosexuals but lesbians and gay men as well. Implications of these patterns are considered. A century ago, sex experts confidently asserted that men and women have strik- ingly different sexual natures. The rise. of scientific psychology brought skepti- cism about this popular but unproven view, and the pendulum swung toward an emphasis on similarities between men's and women's sexuality For example, Masters and Johnson (1966) captured attention by proposing a human sexual response cycle applicable to both sexes. Feminist scholars cautioned against exaggerating male-female differences and argued for women's sexual equality with men. Recently, psychologists have taken stock of the available scientific evidence. Reviews of empirical research on diverse aspects of human sexuality have identified four important male-female differences. These gender differ- ences are pervasive, affecting thoughts and feelings as well as behavior, and they characterize not only heterosexuals but lesbians and gay men as well.
Article
Less than optimum strategies for missing values can produce biased estimates, distorted statistical power, and invalid conclusions. After reviewing traditional approaches (listwise, pairwise, and mean substitution), selected alternatives are covered including single imputation, multiple imputation, and full information maximum likelihood estimation. The effects of missing values are illustrated for a linear model, and a series of recommendations is provided. When missing values cannot be avoided, multiple imputation and full information methods offer substantial improvements over traditional approaches. Selected results using SPSS, NORM, Stata (mvis/micombine), and Mplus are included as is a table of available software and an appendix with examples of programs for Stata and Mplus.
Article
This study was conducted to better understand why socially anxious individuals experience less sexual satisfaction in their intimate partnerships than nonanxious individuals, a relationship that has been well documented in previous research. Effective communication between partners is an important predictor of relationship satisfaction. Sexual communication, an important aspect of communication between romantic partners, is especially sensitive for couples given the vulnerability inherent in being open about sexual issues. Because socially anxious individuals characteristically report fear of evaluation or scrutiny by others, we hypothesized that the process of building intimacy by sharing personal information about oneself with one's partner, including when this information relates to one's sexuality and/or the sexual domain of the relationship, would be particularly difficult for socially anxious individuals. The present study examined fear of intimacy and sexual communication as potential mediators of the relationship between higher social anxiety and lower sexual satisfaction. Self-report data were collected from 115 undergraduate students and their partners in monogamous, heterosexual, committed relationships of at least 3 months duration. Multilevel path modeling revealed that higher social anxiety predicted higher fear of intimacy, which predicted lower satisfaction with open sexual communication, which, in turn, predicted lower sexual satisfaction. Additionally, there was evidence of mediation as there were significant indirect effects of the antecedent variables on sexual satisfaction. The path model had excellent fit. Implications for social anxiety, intimate relationships, and couples therapy are discussed.
Article
The many studies that have examined the long-term impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on adult functioning have primarily focused on the personal distress of survivors, largely ignoring the impact of CSA on interpersonal relationships. This article reviews empirical findings concerning the interpersonal distress of survivors as expressed in their intimate and sexual relationships. First, current conceptualizations of the relationship between CSA and interpersonal relationships are reviewed, with a focus on the theoretical models that appear to have implications for the long-term interpersonal sequelae associated with CSA. This is followed by a review of the research conducted on intimacy within the area of social psychology and a summary of the empirical findings related to intimacy functioning in CSA survivors. A hypothesized typology of intimacy functioning for survivors is suggested. The effects of CSA on three components of sexuality—sexual dysfunctions, underlying psychological components of sexuality, and sexual orientation—are discussed. Finally, the interpersonal issues believed to be most salient for CSA survivors in the therapeutic setting are discussed, along with implications for the client–therapist relationship. Methodological, assessment, and conceptual issues are discussed throughout. Recommendations for future research and clinical endeavors are suggested.
Article
Past research indicates that sexual self-disclosure, or the degree to which an individual is open with his or her partner about sexual preferences, is a key aspect of sexual satisfaction and that partner's lack of knowledge about one's sexual preferences is associated with persistent sexual dysfunction. To replicate and extend past research by examining (i) how one's own levels of sexual self-disclosure are related to one's own sexual health (after controlling for partner's levels of sexual self-disclosure); (ii) how one's partner's levels of sexual self-disclosure are associated with one's own sexual health (after controlling for one's own levels of sexual self-disclosure); and (iii) whether gender moderates the associations between sexual self-disclosure and sexual health. Scores from the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction and the Sexual Communication Satisfaction Scale. A cross-sectional dyadic study using a convenience sample of 91 heterosexual couples in long-term committed relationships. Data were analyzed using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model. One's own level of sexual self-disclosure is positively associated with one's own sexual satisfaction, β = -0.24, t(172.85) = -3.50, P < 0.001. Furthermore, partner's level of sexual self-disclosure is associated with men's sexual satisfaction but not with women's sexual satisfaction, β = -0.45, t(86.81) = -4.06, P < 0.001 and β = 0.02, t(87.00) = 0.20, ns, respectively. The association between own self-disclosure and sexual problems is stronger for women as compared with men, β = -0.72, t(87.00) = -6.31, P < 0.001 and β = -0.24, t(86.27) = -3.04, P < 0.01, respectively. Our results demonstrate that sexual self-disclosure is significantly associated with sexual satisfaction and functioning for both men and women, albeit in different ways. Our findings underscore the importance of sexual self-disclosure and highlight the importance of the interpersonal level of analysis in understanding human sexuality.
Article
Although studies of specific groups of individuals (e.g., adolescents, "high risk" samples) have examined sexual repertoire, little is known, at the population level, about the sexual behaviors that comprise a given sexual encounter. To assess the sexual behaviors that men and women report during their most recent sexual event; the age, partner and situational characteristics related to that event; and their association with participants' evaluation of the sexual event. During March-May 2009, data from a United States probability sample related to the most recent partnered sexual event reported by 3990 adults (ages 18-59) were analyzed. Measures included sexual behaviors during the most recent partnered sexual event, event characteristics (i.e., event location, alcohol use, marijuana use, and for men, erection medication use), and evaluations of the sexual experience (pleasure, arousal, erection/lubrication difficulty, orgasm). Great diversity exists in the behaviors that occur during a single sexual event by adults, with a total of 41 combinations of sexual behaviors represented across this sample. Orgasm was positively related to the number of behaviors that occurred and age was related to greater difficulty with erections and lubrication. Men whose most recent event was with a relationship partner indicated greater arousal, greater pleasure, fewer problems with erectile function, orgasm, and less pain during the event compared with men whose last event was with a nonrelationship partner. Findings demonstrate that adults ages 18 to 59 engage in a diverse range of behaviors during a sexual event and that greater behavior diversity is related to ease of orgasm for both women and men. Although both men and women experience sexual difficulties related to erectile function and lubrication with age, men's orgasm is facilitated by sex with a relationship partner whereas the likelihood of women's orgasm is related to varied sexual behaviors.
Article
This study examined two proposed pathways between sexual self-disclosure (SSD) and sexual satisfaction in a sample of 104 heterosexual couples in long-term relationships. According to the proposed instrumental pathway, disclosure of sexual preferences increases a partner's understanding of those preferences resulting in a sexual script that is more rewarding and less costly. A more favorable balance of sexual rewards to sexual costs, in turn, results in greater sexual satisfaction for the disclosing individual. According to the proposed expressive pathway, mutual self-disclosure contributes to relationship satisfaction, which in turn leads to greater sexual satisfaction. Support was found for the instrumental pathway for both men and women. Support also was found for an expressive pathway between own SSD and partner nonsexual self-disclosure (NSD) and men's sexual satisfaction, and between own NSD and women's sexual satisfaction. These results are interpreted in terms of mechanisms for establishing and maintaining sexual satisfaction in long-term relationships in men and women.
Article
Hypotheses involving mediation are common in the behavioral sciences. Mediation exists when a predictor affects a dependent variable indirectly through at least one intervening variable, or mediator. Methods to assess mediation involving multiple simultaneous mediators have received little attention in the methodological literature despite a clear need. We provide an overview of simple and multiple mediation and explore three approaches that can be used to investigate indirect processes, as well as methods for contrasting two or more mediators within a single model. We present an illustrative example, assessing and contrasting potential mediators of the relationship between the helpfulness of socialization agents and job satisfaction. We also provide SAS and SPSS macros, as well as Mplus and LISREL syntax, to facilitate the use of these methods in applications.
Article
This paper presents a critical review of selected literature about peer education initiatives with young people principally in the area of sexual health. Reported work in this area was found to be diverse in terms of aims, objectives, methods, findings and levels of evaluation. The paper highlights the promise of the method but draws attention to its potential problems. Examples of peer health education are reviewed and the issues surrounding them discussed. These include: theoretical background, rationales, cultural constraints, ethical and operational issues, and the challenges for monitoring and evaluation. The paper concludes by suggesting that practitioners and evaluators must reflect on the difficulties inherent in artificially reconstructing a social process.
Article
This survey was carried out to study the views of multidisciplinary health professionals about discussing sexual issues with patients. A questionnaire was sent to professionals (nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists) to return by post. A duplicate questionnaire was sent 4 weeks later to a random sample of respondents. A total of 813 replies were analysed (61% response rate). Mean age+(SD) of respondents was 37+10. Most were female (85%). Test-retest reliability of the questions showed moderate to very good agreement. Most respondents (90%) agreed that addressing sexual issues ought to be part of the holistic care of patients. However, most staff (86%) were found to be poorly trained and most (94%) were unlikely to discuss sexual issues with their patients. The gender and age of respondents was not significantly related to their participation in such discussion. Therapists had less training, lower comfort level, and less willingness to discuss sexual issues than doctors and nurses while doctors discussed sexual issues significantly often more than others (p< or =0.001). Respondents from rehabilitation wards were equivalent to those from medical or surgical wards in their training and comfort. However, they participated in discussing sexuality with patients less often than those from medical wards. Health professionals agreed that patients' sexual issues needed to be addressed and discussed in health services. However, they were poorly trained, ill prepared and rarely participated in such discussion. This suggests that training in sexuality and sexual issues should be implemented as part of the training of health care professionals.
Article
Male sexuality in adolescence and early adulthood is characterized by autonomous, predictable erections. As males age, however, their arousal becomes less predictable and more dependent on partner interaction. This transition can produce anxiety. Many males view this change as a medical dysfunction requiring pharmacologic treatment or specialist intervention. New medical interventions, including Viagra, have been developed promising to return males to their automatic erections. A medical approach, however, fails to address the multidimensional nature of male sexuality and reinforces sex as intercourse performance. This article outlines a biopsychosocial approach to the assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention of male sexual dysfunction.