While the links between the occurrences of sexual activity and overall mental health and well-being have been widely documented among men, especially within the context of examining treatments for erectile dysfunction, studies focusing on the role of sexual satisfaction have been more difficult to perform. Citing the fact that the number of sexual events experienced by a woman does not indicate her level of sexual satisfaction at a comparable rate with those of men, the researchers behind a recent study performed at Monash University in Australia suggest that self-reporting measures are far more accurate. The research team set out to establish the relationship between sexual satisfaction, age, and well-being among women in the local Australian community, and recruited women who self-identified as being either sexually satisfied or dissatisfied, and who were also asked questions to determine whether they were pre- or post-menopausal.
With a sizable study group, the researchers compared collected from the women, including the number of sexual events experienced each month (the minimum rate for inclusion in the study was two), and whether a partner had been present, along with further questions about the quality of experience and self-perceived well-being. The researchers found that in general, those women of an older age group were found to have more positive associations between sexual satisfaction and overall well-being than were younger women, and the results also suggested that those women who perceived themselves as being sexually satisfied were also more likely to experience a high degree of well-being, in comparison to participants who identified as sexually dissatisfied.
Though the subject is in need of additional study to determine whether sexual dissatisfaction or a poor sense of well-being is the origination point of the cycle, the researchers note that the work should further the cause of women’s sexual and overall health.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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