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The Experience of Sexual Desire: Psychological Correlates in a College Sample

J. Gayle Beck, Alan W. Bozman and Tina Qualtrough
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 28, No. 3 (Aug., 1991), pp. 443-456
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812713
Page Count: 14
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The Experience of Sexual Desire: Psychological Correlates in a College Sample
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Abstract

In order to elaborate on available models of sexual desire, we administered a sexual desire questionnaire to 144 college students, ages 18 to 54. Included in this measure were questions concerning the frequency of sexual desire, whether the respondent had participated in sexual activity without desire, or vice versa, experienced desire without sexual behavior, and a question assessing which cues are used by the subject to gauge sexual desire (e.g., frequency of intercourse, sexual dreams). Subjects also completed the Passionate Love Scale, Sexual Arousal Inventory, and Crowne-Marlowe Social Desirability Scale. The results indicate that as a group, males report experiencing sexual desire more frequently than females. Males appeared to rely on similar indicators of desire as females, specifically genital arousal and sexual daydreams. For both males and females, sexual desire was significantly correlated with sexual arousal (r = 0.50, females; r = 0.44, males) while the correlation of desire and love was nonsignificant for both sexes. However, desire and sexual behavior did not necessarily co-occur, as both males and females reported engaging in sexual behavior without desire. These data suggest that greater attention be paid to the definitional features of sexual desire in nonclinical samples, in an effort to clarify current diagnostic categories and to provide population base rates.

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