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Body Image in Dyadic and Solitary Sexual Desire: The Role of Encoding Style and Distracting Thoughts

By Alessandra Dosch, Paolo Ghisletta and Martial Van der Linden

Abstract

This study explored the link between body image and desire to engage in sexual activity (dyadic and solitary desire) in adult women living in a long-term couple relationship. Moreover, it considered two psychological factors that may underlie such a link: the occurrence of body-related distracting thoughts during sexual activity and encoding style (i.e., the tendency to rely on preexisting internal schemata versus external information at encoding). A total of 53 women (29 to 47 years old) in heterosexual relationships completed questionnaires assessing sexual desire (dyadic, solitary), body image, body-related distracting thoughts during sexual activity, and encoding style. Results showed that poor body image was associated with low dyadic and solitary sexual desire. Body-related distracting thoughts during sexual activity mediated the link between body image and solitary (but not dyadic) sexual desire. Finally, the mediation of body-related distracting thoughts between body image and solitary sexual desire was moderated by encoding style. A negative body image promoted the occurrence of body-related distracting thoughts during sexual activity, especially in internal encoders. Our study highlights the importance of body image, distracting thoughts, and encoding style in women’s solitary sexuality and suggests possible factors that may reduce the impact of those body-related factors in dyadic sexual desire. Copyright © The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.Peer reviewe

Topics: Adult, Body Image, Female, Humans, Libido, Middle Aged, Sexual Behavior, Sexual Partners, Social & behavioral sciences, psychology :: Neurosciences & behavior, Sciences sociales & comportementales, psychologie :: Neurosciences & comportement
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:orbi.ulg.ac.be:2268/240791
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