Saturday, November 21, 2020

Women reported refraining from sex despite experiencing desire (and having a willing partner) more often than men, & were more likely to endorse relationship goals factoring into their consideration to refrain

Benning, Stephen D. 2020. “Why College Women and Men Refrain from Sex Despite Desire.” PsyArXiv. November 20. doi:10.31234/

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: Humans have sex for a multitude of reasons, many of which are unrelated to desire. But what are the conditions in which sexual desire does not lead to sex? We investigated reasons college students refrain from sex despite desire and having an attractive, willing partner along with relationships between these reasons and other aspects of sexuality and personality. For item generation, 604 college participants identified 109 reasons why individuals may refrain from sex despite desire. For construct validation, 712 participants reported the frequency that they experienced these reasons on a novel No Sex Despite Desire measure. Every reason that evidenced discernible gender differences was endorsed more by women. These items were largely concentrated in the factors that emerged of Personal Insecurities (negative emotions or self-evaluations surrounding the act) and Principled Concerns (values and morals preventing sex to occur). However, women and men did not discernibly differ on the Partner Issues factor (perceiving issues with potential partner). These factors also differentially related to sexual and personality variables. Principled Concerns negatively related to sociosexuality for men and women and to less acceptance of sexual double standards for men. Partner Issues positively correlated with sociosexuality and sexual guilt for women. Principled Concerns related to issues of sexual functioning for women, whereas Personal Insecurities related to issues of sexual functioning for men. Finally, Personal Insecurities was related to Neuroticism for both men and women. Based on our research, the desire to refrain from sex despite desire seems multifaceted and highly related to gender.

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