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Body Image, Binge Eating, and Sexual Dysfunction in Women

Aug 22, 2017

Similarly, if she feels that she is not thin enough, she may worry that her partner will find her unattractive, leading to sexual anxiety. She may become so preoccupied with her body image that she cannot enjoy the encounter with her partner. In severe cases, she might dissociate, becoming so distracted and detached from the experience that sexual issues persist.

To learn more about these concepts and how they might work together, researchers created a two-hour experiment that measured levels of cortisol – a stress hormone involved with “fight or flight” response – in women watching a sexually arousing video.

Sixty women between the ages of 25 and 35 participated in the study. All the women were heterosexual and had a regular partner. They completed several questionnaires designed to evaluate dissociative tendencies, sexual distress, body esteem, and feelings about food and eating.

Twenty percent of the women were frequent binge eaters; another 35% said they binge ate sporadically. The rest were not binge eaters.

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