A team of researchers developed and tested a new scale for measuring sensitivity to sexual anxiety. Predicted sexual well-being. The survey results are Journal of Sex & Malital Therapy.
People with anxiety hypersensitivity experience fear of their own physiological sensations. This fear is caused by the belief that these sensations do them great harm. For example, a person whose heart rate spikes after exercise may interpret this as a sign of an impending heart attack. Alternatively, someone who has trouble concentrating may interpret this as a sign that they are going crazy.
People with high anxiety susceptibility are more likely to experience a variety of adverse health-related effects. Since sexual activity involves physiological arousal, it is not surprising that one of these detrimental consequences is deterioration of sexual health. Study author E. Sandra Byers and her team wanted to further clarify the link between anxiety susceptibility and sexual well-being.
“This research combines my own and Dr. Lucia O’Sullivan’s expertise in human sexuality with Dr. Orthus’s expertise in anxiety susceptibility, the fear of physiological sensations,” said Professor and Professor at the University of New Brunswick. Chairman Byers explained. “Higher anxiety susceptibility is a trans-diagnostic factor that has been associated with many adverse mental health outcomes. .
Anxiety sensitivity is usually measured via the Anxiety Susceptibility Index-3 (ASI-3), but researchers sought to develop a scale to assess anxiety sensitivity specific to sexual situations. They called it the Sexual Anxiety Sensitivity Index and tested whether it could be an even stronger predictor of sexual well-being.
“We wanted to specifically examine the role of sexual anxiety susceptibility in sexual well-being and develop a tool that could be used to assess sexual anxiety susceptibility,” Byer said.
To do this, researchers distributed an online survey to 484 adults between the ages of 19 and 60. Most participants (65%) identified as heterosexual, 20% identified as bisexual, 5% identified as gay or lesbian, and 5% identified as another identity I have identified. , 3% unlabeled, 2% unknown or questionable, 0.4% asexual.
Participants completed the 18-item ASI-3, including “I’m afraid I won’t be able to breathe when my chest feels tight.” Subjects also responded to a newly created Sexual Anxiety Susceptibility Index (SASI), designed with items similar to the ASI-3. For example, “If my chest is squeezed during sex, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to breathe properly.” Participants additionally completed measures of sexual well-being, including sexual self-esteem, sexual frequency, sexual satisfaction, sexual distress, and sexual functioning.
“People are aware that sexual activity provides a context in which they experience many physiological sensations that resemble fear responses. I was surprised to find that there were quite a few participants who reported that
Using a statistical technique called confirmatory factor analysis, researchers found that SASI has strong psychometric properties. Participants’ scores on the SASI were also significantly associated with their scores on the ASI-3, providing further evidence in support of the scale.
“We believe that the measures we have developed will be of practical use both to clinicians working with individuals who suffer from sexual anxiety susceptibility and to researchers interested in further investigating the effects of this type of anxiety.” It’s a great assessment tool,” Byers said.
Next, the results revealed that sexual anxiety susceptibility was significantly associated with all 10 measures of sexual well-being. remained significant even after adjusting for sensitivity to
These measures were number of past sexual partners, frequency of genital intercourse, sexual self-esteem, sexual avoidance, sexual distress, and sexual functioning. Since the SASI was able to predict these six dimensions of sexual well-being, in addition to the ASI-3, this suggests that the new measure has a greater impact on sexual well-being than the common measure alone can explain. This suggests that we were able to explain more of the variability. .
The authors point out that their study adds to the current literature by showing that sexual anxiety susceptibility is associated with many indicators of sexual well-being.
“High susceptibility to sexual anxiety–the fear of normal physiological arousals typically experienced when engaging in sexual activity such as a pounding heart, increased sweating, and even butterflies in the stomach–is It may play a role in decreased sexual well-being,” Byers said. she told PsyPost. “This means avoiding sexual activity, romantic relationships, and sexual relationships altogether, which can lead to lower sexual self-esteem and satisfaction, increased sexual distress, and increased sexual problems.”
“Therefore, reducing susceptibility to sexual anxiety may improve sexual well-being. Sexual well-being is important for quality of life and, of course, for the quality and longevity of romantic relationships.
As far as limitations are concerned, this study investigated a new structure and therefore the results should be replicated in future studies. is also needed for future research.
“This is the first of what we hope is a lot of research in this area,” Byers said. I wasn’t sure if I experienced sexual anxiety and/or even if it had a clear link to sexual well-being. To do so, we need to replicate our findings in a larger, more diverse sample and consider the circumstances in which sexual activity occurs.”
The study “Anxiety susceptibility in the sexual context: The link between sexual anxiety susceptibility and sexual well-being” was authored by E. Sandra Byers, Janine V. Olthuis, Lucia F. O’Sullivan, and Emma M. Connell. rice field.