I’m sexy and I know it: Exploring the moderating role of sexual motivations in the relationship between sexual self-esteem and sexual functioning in Israeli adults

Michali Aspis, Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between sexual self-esteem and sexual functioning while exploring the moderating role of sexual motives, thereby contributing to a deeper comprehension of factors that affect sexual well-being. The study used a convenience sample of 781 Israeli adults with a mean age of 31.2. Participants completed the sexual self-esteem subscale of the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire, Female Sexual Function Index (for women), International Index of Erectile Function (for men), and Sexual Motives Scale, which assesses motives of self-enhancement, intimacy, self-affirmation, coping, partner approval, and peer pressure. A moderation model examined the role of these sexual motives in the association between sexual self-esteem and sexual functioning. The analysis indicated that higher sexual self-esteem and motivation for intimacy and enhancement were associated with better sexual functioning. The study also revealed that participants’ motivation for partner approval and peer pressure moderated the association between sexual self-esteem and sexual functioning. Participants with low motivation for partner approval showed an association between higher sexual self-esteem and greater sexual function, while participants with high motivation for partner approval did not show this association. For peer pressure, the association between higher sexual self-esteem and greater sexual function was strongest for participants who experienced high peer pressure as a sexual motive. Higher sexual self-esteem was associated with better sexual functioning, regardless of peer pressure level, but the association was stronger for participants experiencing high peer pressure. The study results shed light on the connection between sexual self-esteem, sexual motivations, and sexual functioning. Clinically, interventions for addressing sexual functioning should consider both self-esteem and sexual motivations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Early online date5 Feb 2024
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

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