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This study examined demographic, psychological, and relationship factors that are associated with the experience of sexual desire in women. The contribution of other aspects of sexual function on sexual desire was also investigated. The participants were 741 partnered heterosexual women (mean age = 45.7 years), who completed the Female Sexual Desire Questionnaire online, which evaluated their levels of sexual desire, as well as a range of individual and dyadic variables. For each of the six aspects of sexual desire assessed, the number and frequency of problems in other aspects of women's sexual functioning were the most common predictors. The results demonstrated that sexual desire was lower among older, postmenopausal women and those who had been in their current relationship for a longer period of time. Women who reported that their partner experienced a sexual dysfunction also obtained lower sexual desire scores. These findings demonstrate the strong interrelationship between the different phases of the sexual response cycle for women. Further, they suggest that sexual dysfunction in one partner is likely to be associated with sexual dysfunction in the other partner. The clinical implications of these findings in terms of the treatment for sexual dysfunction among women (and their partners) are discussed.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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