Predicting Sexual Problems in Women: The Relevance of Sexual Excitation and Sexual Inhibition

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA.
Archives of Sexual Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.53). 05/2008; 37(2):241-51. DOI: 10.1007/s10508-007-9235-7
Source: PubMed


Data from a non-clinical sample of 540 heterosexual women were used to examine the relationships between scores on the Sexual Excitation/Sexual Inhibition Inventory for Women (SESII-W) and ratings of current sexual problems, lifetime arousal difficulty, lifetime orgasm difficulty, and lifetime problems with low sexual interest. Multiple regression analyses also included several demographic/background variables as predictors: age, full-time employment, completed college, children in household, married, health ratings, importance of sex, and whether the woman was in a sexual relationship. The strongest statistical predictors of both current and lifetime sexual problems were the SESII-W inhibition factors Arousal Contingency and Concerns about Sexual Function. Demographic factors did not feature largely in any of the models predicting sexual problems even when statistically significant relationships were found. If future research supports the predictive utility of the SESII-W in identifying women who are more likely to experience sexual difficulties, these scales may be used as prognostic factors in treatment studies.

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Available from: Robin Milhausen, Feb 10, 2014
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    • "The two strongest associations with both current and lifetime sexual problems were the inhibitory factors Arousal Contingency, which describes how everything has to be " just right " for sexual arousal to occur, and Concerns about Sexual Function, which includes items about loss of arousal due to worries about being a good lover or taking too long to reach orgasm. These findings were in line with the theoretical assumption that high SI is linked to vulnerability to sexual problems (Sanders et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: To date no longitudinal studies have evaluated the predictive value of the two factors of the Dual Control Model—sexual excitation (SE) and sexual inhibition (SI)—for future sexual function. The aims of the present study were to investigate the associations between SE/SI and sexual function and estimate their predictive value for future sexual function in a sample of women. Overall, 2,214 women participated in a web-based survey that assessed SE, SI, and sexual function as well as symptoms of depression. The one and two-year follow-up surveys included 396 and 380 participants, respectively. Correlational analyses and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to analyze the relationships between predictor and outcome variables. Four factors of SE (Arousability, Partner Characteristics, Sexual Power Dynamics, and Setting) and two factors of SI (Concerns about Sexual Function and Arousal Contingency), as well as symptoms of depression and partnership status were significant predictors of concurrent and future sexual function. Several subscales of SE and SI contributed to the prediction of future sexual function above and beyond prior sexual function levels. Our study provides the first supportive evidence for the assumptions of the Dual Control Model that propensities for low SE and high SI influence future sexual function.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy
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    • "No studies have examined the association between PSC and NSC and the propensity for sexual excitation/inhibition . However, Sanders, Graham, and Milhausen (2008) examined the association between the overall frequency of sexual thoughts (without considering their valence) and SE and SI in women. They found that Arousal Contingency (the potential for arousal to be easily inhibited or disrupted by situational factors, one subscale on the SI scale) negatively predicted frequency of thinking about sex overall. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between various subtypes of positive and negative sexual cognitions (NSC) based on their content (intimate, exploratory, sadomasochistic, impersonal) and sexual functioning, including aspects of sexual response (desire), sexual motivation (sexual excitation and sexual inhibition), and cognitive-affective domains (satisfaction). Participants were 789 Spanish adults (322 men and 467 women) who were in a heterosexual relationship of at least 6 months duration. Overall, the men reported more frequent exploratory and impersonal positive sexual cognitions than did the women. The men and women did not differ in the frequency of their positive intimate and sadomasochistic cognitions or in any of their NSC. Using canonical correlation, the results revealed that, after controlling for the overall frequency of NSC, the men and women who reported a higher frequency of all subtypes of positive sexual cognitions reported more dyadic and solitary sexual desire, more propensity to get sexually excited, and less sexual inhibition. A second canonical variate was identified for both the men and the women that revealed different patterns of association between the subtypes of cognitions and specific areas of sexual functioning, highlighting the role of positive, intimate cognitions for dyadic aspects of sexual functioning. The subtypes of NSC were not associated with poorer sexual functioning for either men or women, perhaps because they, on average, occurred infrequently. The findings were discussed in terms of the relationship between the specific content of sexual cognitions and the sexual functioning of men and women.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Archives of Sexual Behavior
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    • "Increased acceptance of the present sexual context may also be relevant . A tendency for women to need things " in order " prior to accepting and attending to sexual stimulation or " arousal contin - gency " was one of three factors determining a proneness to sexual inhibition of women ' s arousal ( Sanders et al . , 2008 ) . Increased ability to describe sensations ( which predicted im - provements in sexual desire ) , may lead to awareness of sexual physical sensations , sexual excitement from those sensations and from the partner ' s arousal , as well as from sexual stimuli in the world generally in between times of sexual activity . Interestingly it "
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    ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t At least a third of women across reproductive ages experience low sexual desire and impaired arousal. There is increasing evidence that mindfulness, defined as non-judgmental present moment awareness, may improve women's sexual functioning. The goal of this study was to test the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy, either immediately or after a 3-month waiting period, in women seeking treatment for low sexual desire and arousal. Women participated in four 90-min group sessions that included mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, and education. A total of 117 women were assigned to either the immediate treatment (n ¼ 68, mean age 40.8 yrs) or delayed treatment (n ¼ 49, mean age 42.2 yrs) group, in which women had two pre-treatment baseline assessments followed by treatment. A total of 95 women completed assessments through to the 6-month follow-up period. Compared to the delayed treatment control group, treatment significantly improved sexual desire, sexual arousal, lubri-cation, sexual satisfaction, and overall sexual functioning. Sex-related distress significantly decreased in both conditions, regardless of treatment, as did orgasmic difficulties and depressive symptoms. Increases in mindfulness and a reduction in depressive symptoms predicted improvements in sexual desire. Mindfulness-based group therapy significantly improved sexual desire and other indices of sexual response, and should be considered in the treatment of women's sexual dysfunction.
    Full-text · Dataset · May 2014
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