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How Might Personality Affect Sexual Function?

How Might Personality Affect Sexual Function?

Many factors can contribute to sexual dysfunction, from medical conditions like diabetes to psychological issues like depression and anxiety. Often, there is more than one factor at play. But how might personality and behaviors fit in?

Recently, researchers examined how sexual sensation seeking (SSS) and sexual compulsivity (SC) are involved. SSS refers to a person’s need to seek new sexual experiences and the risks he or she will take to attain them. People with SC find it difficult to control their sexual urges and might be more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.

Two hundred seventy-nine people (almost 70% women) with an average age of 32 participated in the study. They completed several online questionnaires about SSS, SC, their personal sexual function, and their gender identity (how they experience their gender regardless of their biological sex).

The researchers found a link between SSS and SC for both men and women. Men had higher levels of both factors than women did and these levels stayed consistent throughout their lives. As women got older, their levels tended to decline.

For women, higher levels of SSS were linked to better sexual function, but high levels of SC had the opposite effect.

Gender identity did not appear to influence women’s SSS and SC as much as it did for men.

More research is needed to learn more about these connections, the researchers noted.

The study was published online in December in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Burri, Andrea, DrSc

“Sexual Sensation Seeking, Sexual Compulsivity, and Gender Identity and Its Relationship With Sexual Functioning in a Population Sample of Men and Women”

(Full-text. Published online: December 6, 2016)