Sexual desire discrepancy and its effect on relationship satisfaction

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Wilkens, Thomas
Gaither, George
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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This study is focused on the impact of attachment styles, gender, and sexual orientation on the relationship between sexual desire discrepancies (SDD) and relationship satisfaction. There is a limited amount of research measuring SDDs in same-sex relationships, with only one study (Bridges & Horne, 2007) analyzing same-sex women relationships and one study (Pereira, Machado, & Peixoto, 2019) analyzing discrepancies in same-sex male relationships. 138 individuals responded to an online survey. The survey contained general demographic (e.g., age, race, sexual orientation, gender) questions followed by a section determining a participant’s attachment style, level of SDD, relationship satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. Survey takers must currently be in a relationship that has been sexually active for at least six months at the time the survey is taken (to remain consistent with previous SDD research) and be over 18. The current study found that SDD had an overall negative effect on sexual satisfaction, but only had a negative effect on relationship satisfaction when comparing no SDD, non-problematic SDD, and problematic SDD. Men are more likely than females to report problematic SDD and that they desire sex more than their partners. Females are more likely to report non-problematic SDD. Sexual orientation and attachment style had no effect on SDDs, relationship satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. The study aimed to provide insight for clinicians working with clients that experience SDD. This study examined factors such as attachment style, gender, and sexual orientation to paint a more holistic picture of relationship dissatisfaction when it occurs.