Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Marta Meana

Number of Pages



It is well documented that cognitive interference detrimentally influences sexuality, but little is known about the content of that interference. This study compared the self-reports of 220 college men and 337 college women on two types of cognitive interference during sex, performance-oriented and appearance-oriented. Also assessed via use of the Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory and the Sexual History Form were: sexual satisfaction, psychological distress, sexual knowledge, sexual experiences, sexual attitudes, sexual fantasy, body image, affect, and sexual functioning, all areas thought to be related to sexual functioning. As predicted, findings indicated that women were more concerned with their own appearance during sexual activity than were men. Contrary to our hypothesis, however, men and women did not differ significantly in self-reported performance-interference. Data also suggested that certain constructs were gender-specific predictors of the two types of interference, as psychological distress was predictive for women and sexual attitudes were predictive for men only. Most constructs were non gender-specific, as sexual satisfaction, body image and our covariate, length of relationship, were predictive in both men and women. Implications are discussed, as results point to the need for gender-specific treatments for sexual dysfunction.


Arousal; Cognitive; Differences; Gender; Interference; Sexual

Controlled Subject

Clinical psychology; Psychophysiology

File Format


File Size

2140.16 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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