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Study finds link between relationship style and sexual dysfunction

7 March 2012

Deakin University research has shown that being too needy or not needy enough in a relationship can result in sexual issues.

Christina Stefanou is conducting her doctoral research with Deakin's School of Psychology under the supervision of Professor Marita McCabe and is looking at the connection between relationship style and sexual functioning.

Preliminary results from the experiences of the 127 people who have taken part in the study so far demonstrate the strong links between relationship style and sexual dysfunction in both men and women.

"The preliminary analysis showed that individuals who fear rejection or abandonment and value intimacy to such an extent that they become overly dependent on their partner, had higher levels of sexual dysfunction (i.e., with sexual arousal, lubrication, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction in women, and erectile function, orgasm, intercourse satisfaction, and overall sexual satisfaction in men)," Ms Stefanou said.

"Similarly, individuals who experience discomfort with closeness and find it difficult to depend on their partner also had higher levels of sexual dysfunction (i.e., with sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, pain, and sexual satisfaction in women, although no relationships were found with dysfunction in men).

"These findings suggest that rather than simply treating the symptoms of sexual dysfunction, treatment strategies may be more effective if they considered the psychological characteristics that impact on sexual behaviour within relationships."

Ms Stefanou's study is ongoing and if you would like to complete the questionnaire, please go to this link

News facts
  • Study finds that relationship style influences incidence of sexual dysfunction
  • Treatment strategies should consider pychological characteristics

Media contact

Andrew Birks
Director, Government and Media Relations
0400 669 164
andrew.birks@deakin.edu.au

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22nd March 2012