Title

Gender differences in the content of cognitive distraction during sex

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This study compared 220 college men and 237 college women on two types of self‐reported cognitive distraction during sex, performance‐ and appearance‐based. We assessed affect, psychological distress, sexual knowledge, attitudes, fantasies, experiences, body image, satisfaction, and sexual function with the Dewgatis Sexual Functioning Inventory and the Sexual History Form to determine associations with distraction. Between‐gender analyses revealed that women reported higher levels of overall and appearance‐based distraction than did men, but similar levels of performance‐based distraction. Within‐gender analyses revealed that women reported as much of one type of distraction as the other, while men reported more performance‐ than appearance‐based distraction. In women, appearance‐based distraction was predicted by negative body image, psychological distress, and not being in a relationship, while performance‐based distraction was predicted by negative body image, psychological distress, and sexual dissatisfaction. In men, appearance‐based distraction was predicted by negative body image, sexual dissatisfaction, and not being in a relationship, while performance‐based distraction was predicted by negative body image and sexual dissatisfaction. Investigating the content of cognitive distraction may be useful in understanding gender differences in sexual experience and in refining cognitive components of sex therapy.

Disciplines

Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology

Permissions

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