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Special Issue "Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 9819

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Sierra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mind, Brain, and Behavioral Research Center, University of Granada, 18011 Granada, Spain
Interests: sexual satisfaction; sexual functioning; sexual attitudes; sexual psychophysiology; orgasm; sexual diversity; sexual health
Dr. Cristóbal Calvillo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mind, Brain, and Behavioral Research Center, University of Granada, 18011 Granada, Spain
Interests: sexual satisfaction; sexual functioning; sexual attitudes; sexual psychophysiology; orgasm; sexual diversity; sexual health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Health, sexual health, sexual satisfaction, and sexual functioning are closely related concepts. The World Health Organization defines sexual health as a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality, which implies pleasant and safe sexual experiences. Thus, sexual health is closely related to sexual satisfaction. A dimension of sexuality clearly associated with sexual satisfaction is sexual functioning: desire, arousal, and orgasm are concepts linked to the concept of sexual satisfaction. At present, sexual satisfaction is considered a relevant factor in people's quality of life. Improving health and quality of life requires research in fields such as sexual function and satisfaction.

For this Special Issue, we encourage researchers in human sexuality to submit manuscripts on sexual functioning, sexual satisfaction, and the relationships of this factors with health. Studies on sexual desire, sexual arousal, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction are of interest, as are those on sexual diversity or in populations of different ages (young people, adults, or the elderly), as well as studies that present instruments for assessing sexual functioning and satisfaction. Presentations can be in the form of original articles, brief reports, or critical reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Prof. Dr. Juan Carlos Sierra
Dr. Cristóbal Calvillo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sexual functioning
  • sexual satisfaction
  • sexual response
  • sexual desire
  • sexual excitation
  • orgasm
  • sexual health

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Sexual Dysfunction and Quality of Life in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 3088; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053088 - 06 Mar 2022
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Background: Sexual health is a major component of human well-being. As repeatedly shown in research, satisfaction with sex life and sexual fulfillment correlate positively with quality of life (QoL) in most of its aspects. It is thus true that a reduced quality of [...] Read more.
Background: Sexual health is a major component of human well-being. As repeatedly shown in research, satisfaction with sex life and sexual fulfillment correlate positively with quality of life (QoL) in most of its aspects. It is thus true that a reduced quality of one’s sex life and lack of sexual fulfillment can contribute to poorer QoL overall. The aim of this study is to describe an assessment of sexual dysfunction and factors affecting sexual dysfunctions of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Material and methods: 171 consecutive RA patients (mean age 48.3 ± 14.6) attending the rheumatology outpatient clinic. Standardized questionnaires used in the study were the sexological questionnaire, WHOQOL-BREF to assess QoL level, Disease Acceptance Scale, and VAS scale to assess pain intensity. Results: The mean duration of the disease in the study group was 13 ± 9 years, mean score of subjective assessment of mobility was 6.2 ± 1.6, and the mean score of the DAS-28 was 4.0 ± 1.9. The study group presented a mean level of disease acceptance (AIS 29.6 ± 11.6). The comparative analysis showed significant differences in reaching orgasm and declared sexual dysfunctions. These problems occurred more often in women than in men (34.2% vs. 18% and 43% vs. 40%, respectively). In univariate analysis, factors correlating positively with the frequency of declaring sexual dysfunction were subjective motor score less < 6 points, AIS < 36 points, WHOQOL-BREF < 59 points, disease activity ≥3.5 points, and VAS > 3. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, independent factors positively correlating with frequency of sexual dysfunction declaration were general QoL (β = 1.255; p = 0.035) and pain limiting social life (β = 1.564; p = 0.030). The absence of comorbidities correlated negatively and reduced the prevalence of sexual dysfunction (β = −1.030; p = 0.043). Patients with reduced QoL and patients with pain limiting social life had 3.5 and 4.8 times higher risk of sexual dysfunction than other patients, respectively. In contrast, those without comorbidities were 2.8 times more likely to be free of sexual dysfunction than those diagnosed with other chronic diseases besides RA. Conclusions: Sexual dysfunction is an emerging problem in both men and women with RA. The absence of comorbidities is an independent determinant of sexual dysfunction, whereas poor QoL and pain limiting social life are independent determinants that exacerbate sexual dysfunction in both genders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health)
Article
Sexual Addiction, Hypersexual Behavior and Relative Psychological Dynamics during the Period of Social Distancing and Stay-at-Home Policies Due to COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2704; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052704 - 25 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1157
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, increased stress factors affected people’s motivations to engage in potentially addictive behaviors. Sexuality, understood as one of the psychological aspects to be investigated to explore the level of psychological well-being of a person, has suffered considerable repercussions due to [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, increased stress factors affected people’s motivations to engage in potentially addictive behaviors. Sexuality, understood as one of the psychological aspects to be investigated to explore the level of psychological well-being of a person, has suffered considerable repercussions due to the pandemic. A growing body of evidence suggests an unprecedented increase in Internet use and online pornography consumption during the pandemic. Since March 2020, during the lockdown period, Pornhub has seen a worldwide increase in pornography use of 11.6% compared to the previous average days. This research was conducted with the aim of exploring the possible increasing use of pornographic material during the lockdown period, in order to assess whether dysfunctional behaviors, such as compulsive behaviors, and thoughts of sex-related obsessives can lead to hypersexual behavior or a more severe Sexual Addiction. The individuals who participated in our research were 18 years of age or older (mean 23.1, s.d. 5.8), and 48% male and 52% females and were recruited online to complete a self-report questionnaire in the period between April 2020 and April 2021. The questionnaires were delivered via main social networks. The tool used for our survey was the SAST (Sexual Addiction Screening Test), a questionnaire including socio-demographic data and data relating to sexual practices, such as sexual orientation and time spent on the Internet for sexual activities. The results revealed significant differences concerning the various factors investigated such as loss of control, addictive symptoms and hide score. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health)
Article
Validation of the Orgasm Rating Scale in Context of Sexual Relationships of Gay and Lesbian Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020887 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1034
Abstract
Currently, no validated instrument exists for assessing the subjective experience of orgasm in the gay population. The Orgasm Rating Scale (ORS), previously validated in the heterosexual population, comprises four dimensions: Affective, Sensory, Intimacy, and Rewards. This study validated it for sexual relationships in [...] Read more.
Currently, no validated instrument exists for assessing the subjective experience of orgasm in the gay population. The Orgasm Rating Scale (ORS), previously validated in the heterosexual population, comprises four dimensions: Affective, Sensory, Intimacy, and Rewards. This study validated it for sexual relationships in the gay population by obtaining its factorial invariance by sexual orientation and sex, its internal consistency reliability, and evidence of validity in its relationship with other variables. We assessed 1600 cisgender Spanish adults–heterosexuals, gays, and lesbians–divided into 4, sex-based groups of 400 each, according to the Kinsey scale scores. Participants reported recent experiences of orgasm in the context of sexual relationships and responded to the ORS and other scales assessing attitude toward sexual fantasies and sexual functioning. The ORS structure showed a strict multigroup-level invariance by sexual orientation and sex, confirming its four-dimensional structure. The subjective orgasm intensity was associated with a positive attitude toward sexual fantasies and sexual functioning. Scores obtained on the Affective, Intimacy, and Rewards dimensions confirmed the ability to discriminate between gay people with and without orgasmic difficulties. The ORS’s Spanish version presents good psychometric properties as a validated scale to evaluate the subjective experience of orgasm in the gay population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health)
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Article
Female Sexual Dysfunction and Pelvic Floor Muscle Function Associated with Systemic Sclerosis: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010612 - 05 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1066
Abstract
Only a few studies have addressed sexual health in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). This study aimed to compare female sexual function and pelvic floor muscle function in SSc patients with healthy controls (HC) matched by age, and to identify the potential implications [...] Read more.
Only a few studies have addressed sexual health in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). This study aimed to compare female sexual function and pelvic floor muscle function in SSc patients with healthy controls (HC) matched by age, and to identify the potential implications of clinical features on sexual function. Our cohort included 90 women with SSc and 90 HC aged 18–70 years that completed six well-established and validated questionnaires assessing sexual function (Brief Index of Sexual Function for Women, Female Sexual Function Index, Sexual Quality of Life Questionnaire–Female, Sexual Function Questionnaire) and pelvic floor function (Pelvic Floor Impact Questionnaire–Short Form 7 and Pelvic Organ Prolapse/Urinary Incontinence Sexual Questionnaire Short Form). Results from women with SSc and HC were contrasted and correlated with relevant clinical features. The prevalence of female sexual dysfunction was 73% in SSc patients (vs. 31% in HC). Women with SSc reported significantly worse pelvic floor function and sexual function than HC. Impaired sexual function was correlated with higher disease activity, the presence of dyspnea and interstitial lung disease, increased systemic inflammation, reduced physical activity, functional disability, more severe depression, more pronounced fatigue, and impaired quality of life. We demonstrate that sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent among women with SSc. This aspect of the disease deserves more attention both in clinical care and at the level of international research collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health)
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Article
Transcultural Adaptation and Validation of the Spanish Version of the Sexual Satisfaction Scale for Women (SSS-W-E)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189663 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
Background: Sexual satisfaction is a complex and multidimensional concept. It encompasses physical, emotional, relational and cultural dimensions, and constitutes an essential component of sexual health, as well as an indicator of quality of life and wellbeing. The Sexual Satisfaction Scale for Women (SSS-W) [...] Read more.
Background: Sexual satisfaction is a complex and multidimensional concept. It encompasses physical, emotional, relational and cultural dimensions, and constitutes an essential component of sexual health, as well as an indicator of quality of life and wellbeing. The Sexual Satisfaction Scale for Women (SSS-W) was designed in the United States, and it is a valid and reliable tool to measure women’s sexual satisfaction. Aim: The aim of this study was to culturally adapt and translate the SSS-W into Spanish and analyze its psychometric properties. Methods: First, the original instrument was culturally adapted and translated from English to Spanish. Then, we tested the psychometric properties of the instrument in its Spanish version in a sample of 316 women who attended a family planning clinic in Logroño, Spain. Internal consistency reliability of the whole scale and each subscale separately was measured using Cronbach’s alpha. Factorial validity of the SSS-W in its Spanish version was analyzed using exploratory factor analysis through the Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin measure of sample adequacy and Bartlett’s Sphericity test. Results: The Cronbach’s alpha coefficients of the total scale and each subscale were satisfactory (>0.7). Exploratory factor analysis confirmed the five hypothetical dimensions of the scale in its Spanish version. The five dimensions (contentment, communication, compatibility, relational concern, and personal concern) explained 60% of the total variance of the scale; factor analysis using varimax rotation revealed strong loads in each of the five components. Conclusions: The SSS-W in its Spanish version is a valid and reliable tool to assess sexual satisfaction in Spanish women of reproductive age and, therefore, can be used both in clinical practice and for the investigation of sexual health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health)
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Article
Association between Psychopathological Dimensions and Sexual Functioning/Sexual Arousal in Young Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3584; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073584 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
Psychological-psychiatric factors have a different effect on sexual functioning in men and women. This research aimed to examine the association between psychopathological dimensions and dimensions of sexual functioning in Spanish young adults in two studies. Study 1 examined sexual functioning and psychopathological dimensions [...] Read more.
Psychological-psychiatric factors have a different effect on sexual functioning in men and women. This research aimed to examine the association between psychopathological dimensions and dimensions of sexual functioning in Spanish young adults in two studies. Study 1 examined sexual functioning and psychopathological dimensions in 700 women and 516 men. Study 2 conducted an experimental laboratory task to evaluate subjective sexual arousal and genital sensations when watching visual sexual stimuli in a subsample of participants from Study 1 (143 women and 123 men). As a result, the first study showed that depression and anxiety-related symptoms had a negative effect, both in men and women, and having a partner had a positive influence on the dimensions of sexual functioning. The second study showed that anxiety symptoms were positively associated with subjective sexual arousal in both men and women, and anxiety was associated with the assessment of genital sensations in men. The differences between the results of anxiety may be explained because sexual arousal was evaluated in general terms in Study 1, whereas it was evaluated as a state in Study 2. These findings confirm that the presence of psychopathological symptoms contributes to sexual functioning, as well as the necessity of strengthening mental illness prevention programs that include sexual health components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health)
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Article
Comparative Assessment of Female Sexual Function Following Transobturator Midurethral Sling for Stress Urinary Incontinence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052286 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Urinary incontinence (UI) is a significant social problem. According to the World Health Organization, UI affects as much as 30% of premenopausal women and 60% of postmenopausal women. Urinary incontinence can lead to certain problems that negatively affect a woman’s sex life. They [...] Read more.
Urinary incontinence (UI) is a significant social problem. According to the World Health Organization, UI affects as much as 30% of premenopausal women and 60% of postmenopausal women. Urinary incontinence can lead to certain problems that negatively affect a woman’s sex life. They result from the fact that certain processes take place in the body during intercourse. As a result of orgasm, the intra-abdominal pressure increases, which in women with urinary incontinence can cause an uncontrolled leakage of urine. The discomfort that this causes, in turn, lowers sexual attractiveness, as well as causes embarrassment. The study involved 50 patients hospitalized in the period from February to May 2019 at the Gynecology Department of the Independent Public Healthcare Center of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration in Wrocław. All patients underwent surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence using the transobturator tape (TOT) method. To assess sexuality, the international standardized Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. Analysis of the results obtained from the FSFI questionnaire shows that the operation significantly affects the reduction in pain sensation during intercourse, a reduction in the sensation of sexual arousal, and a worsening vaginal wetness. Stress urinary incontinence significantly affects women’s sex life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health)
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Brief Report
Dyadic Invariance of the Positive Sexuality Scale in Chilean Heterosexual Couples
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1190; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031190 - 29 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1047
Abstract
Gender differences in sexuality-related dimensions have long been investigated in close relationship research. An important assumption when comparing values across gender in dyadic research is that both partners conceptualize the construct under investigation in the same way. Thus, issues of measurement invariance should [...] Read more.
Gender differences in sexuality-related dimensions have long been investigated in close relationship research. An important assumption when comparing values across gender in dyadic research is that both partners conceptualize the construct under investigation in the same way. Thus, issues of measurement invariance should be considered when working with dyadic data. The aim of the present study was to test the dyadic invariance of the Positive Sexuality Scale (PSS) to assess an individual’s sense of happiness and fulfillment with his/her sexual expression. The PSS was completed by 166 Chilean heterosexual couples, and measurement invariance was tested using confirmatory factor analysis within a dyadic framework. Configural, metric, scalar, and partial strict measurement invariance were supported for the PSS original one-factor model. No between-partner difference was found in the PSS latent factor mean. The functioning of the PSS and the meaning attributed to positive sexuality were the same for both partners. Hence, variations in the PSS levels between both partners in heterosexual couples can be interpreted as true mean differences rather than measurement artifacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sexual Functioning, Sexual Satisfaction and Health)
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