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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. The influences of these factors undoubtedly change as women age. This study aimed to examine potential differences in sexual motivation between three distinct age groups of premenopausal women. The YSEX? Questionnaire by Meston and Buss [ 1 ] was used to measure sexual motivation.
The items of this questionnaire were composed of four primary sexual motivation factors physical, goal attainment, emotional, insecurity , and 13 subfactors. Women aged 31—45 years reported a higher proportion of engaging in sex compared with one or both of the younger age groups of women for nine of the 13 YSEX?
At an item level, the top 25 reasons for having sex were virtually identical across age groups. Women aged 31—45 have more motives for engaging in sex than do women aged 18—30, but the primary reasons for engaging in sex do not differ within this age range. Women aged 18—45 have sex primarily for pleasure, and love and commitment. The implications for diagnosis and treatment of women with sexual dysfunctions were discussed. Recently, Meston and Buss [ 1 ] published a study that identified distinct reasons for why men and women engage in sexual intercourse.
The reasons were compiled from open-ended responses given by individuals aged 17 to 52 years and then administered to over 1, undergraduate students for the purposes of conducting factor analyses and frequency distributions. Of the distinct reasons reported, loaded onto four primary factors that were equivalent in men and women: physical reasons, goal attainment reasons, emotional reasons, and insecurity reasons.
Separate principal component analyses conducted on each of these primary factors revealed between two and four independent subfactors for each of the primary factors. With respect to the four primary factors characterizing motivations for sex, the women in the study reported engaging in sexual intercourse most frequently for emotional reasons, followed by physical reasons, insecurity reasons, and goal attainment reasons, respectively.
It is expected that what motivates women to engage in sex changes across the lifespan as women gain more sexual experience, form more committed and long-term relationships, and experience life changes that undoubtedly impact sexuality such as giving birth, raising a family, and focusing on career goals [ 2 ].
To our knowledge, studies examining age differences in why women have sex focused almost exclusively on sexual motivation in adolescents and young adults, with an emphasis on how motives for sex predict sexual risk-taking.
To this end, in a longitudinal study of girls aged 12 to 16 years, Rosenthal and colleagues [ 3 ] reported that younger girls were less likely to report love or attraction as motives for engaging in first sexual intercourse, and more likely to report having sex because of peer influences. Older girls, on the other hand, were more likely than younger girls to engage in sex because they were in love, physically attracted, too excited to stop, drunk or high, and feeling romantic. Partner pressure motives were less strongly endorsed by older than younger respondents.
Cooper and colleagues [ 4 ] also found that young adults were more likely to engage in sex for intimacy-based reasons than adolescents. The present study is the first to examine sexual motivation between several distinct age groups of premenopausal adult women: ages 18—22 years, ages 23—30 years, and ages 31—45 years. The middle range 23—30 years reflects a group of women in which a small proportion will likely have been married or formed long-term sexual relationships, entered the work force, and begun to have children. The oldest group 31—45 years captures women who we expect a majority would have been married or formed long-term committed relationships, progressed in their careers, attained some degree of financial stability, and had children.
The prevalence of sexual concerns in women differ substantially by age, with women in their late teens and early twenties reporting more sexual pain and sexual anxiety, less sexual pleasure, and greater difficulty lubricating and achieving orgasm than women in their early to mids [ 6 ].
Women in their mids and 40s report more disinterest in sex than women in their late teens and early twenties [ 6 ]. By documenting whether sexual motives differ according to particular developmental periods, the present study will serve as a foundation for future exploration into the link between sexual motivation and sexual function and pleasure in women. A cross-sectional sample of female participants aged 18 years and older were recruited nationally via online classified advertisements e.
They were informed that the survey would take between 30 and 45 minutes to complete and that they could choose not to answer any of the questions in the survey. All participants were required to read and agree to an online consent form before gaining access to the anonymous survey. The survey was hosted by Psychdata, which uses a bit encryption technology and Secure Survey Environment technology to protect the anonymity of participants and integrity of the data.
Following completion of the survey, the participants were asked to release their responses for the purposes stated in the cover letter, and a debriefing screen appeared advising the participants to contact the principal investigator if they had any concerns about the study. Each participant was given a random identification that served as a confirmation that she had completed the survey. Sexual motivation was assessed using the item version of the YSEX? Scale [ 1 ] see Appendix. The items fell into four factors analytically derived as primary motives pleasure, goal attainment, emotional, insecurity and 13 subfactors.
The physical reasons subfactors included stress reduction, pleasure, physical desirability, and experience seeking. The goal attainment subfactors included resources, social status, revenge, and utilitarian. The scale has been shown to be internally reliable with subfactor alpha coefficients ranging from 0.
Over the 17 months that the survey was active, women initiated the online survey. Of these women, eight exited the survey without answering any items, leaving that participated in the survey to various extents. The participants ranged from 18—66 years in age. To calculate the descriptive statistics i. For inferential analyses, we used a final sample of the participants who completed all questions in the YSEX?
The participants resided in 37 states within the United States and in two Canadian provinces. The sample was composed of The majority of the sample As expected, differences emerged between the groups in terms of the percentage of women who were married, in long-term relationships, and had children. These findings supported our belief that these age groups represent different lifestyle and relationship experiences. To verify that the factors derived from Meston and Buss [ 1 ] were applicable to older populations, we first conducted a factor analyses of the sexual motives using the combined sample of women.
As seen in Table 1 , the factor structure among women aged 18—45 years was identical to that reported by Meston and Buss among to year-old men and women with the following exceptions: two of the goal attainment items loaded similarly on the goal attainment and physical reasons factors and two items loaded highest on other factors, and two of the insecurity items loaded highest on other factors. Factor analysis of the modified item YSEX?
Items are listed under the factor headings derived by Meston and Buss [ 1 ]. Only the highest factor loadings are reported for each item with the exception of items that loaded higher on factors different from that reported by Meston and Buss in which case, factor loadings for the factor under which they are listed are also presented in brackets. As seen in Table 2 , the values exceeded 0. High internal consistency was also noted for subfactors in the 18—22 and 31—45 age groups.
The values ranged from 0. An inspection of the data revealed that one item in each of these three subfactors had zero variability thus contributing to the lower alpha coefficients for these subfactors. As seen in Table 2 , the coefficient alphas for both the primary factors and subfactors were surprisingly similar between those reported here among to year-old women and the sample of comparable-aged women reported by Meston and Buss [ 1 ]. Together, the almost identical between the factor analyses conducted here and that reported by Meston and Buss, and the high coefficient alphas on all of the primary factors and on the majority of subfactors indicate that the YSEX?
Questionnaire is reliable across the age groups used in the present study. Internal consistency of the modified item YSEX? To analyze the differences in reasons for having sex across the age groups, a multivariate analysis of variance MANOVA was run for each individual primary factor using the respective subfactors as dependent variables and the three age groups 18—22, 23—30, 31—45 as independent factors. Only the participants with complete data sets were used for these analyses i. Post hoc tests showed that for the stress reduction and physical desirability subfactors, the 31—45 age group was ificantly higher than the other two groups.
For the experience seeking subfactor, the oldest group scored ificantly higher than the 18—22 age group. There were no ificant differences between the two younger groups Table 2. For the resources subfactor, the 31—45 age group had a ificantly higher mean than both of the two younger groups. For revenge and social status, the oldest group was only higher than the middle group. Again, there were no ificant differences between the two younger groups Table 2.
For the expression subfactor, the oldest group scored ificantly higher than the 18—22 age group Table 2. Within the self-esteem boost subfactor, the oldest age group scored higher than both of the younger groups. For mate guarding, the oldest group only scored higher than the 23—30 age group. The two younger groups were not ificantly different on any of the insecurity subfactors Table 3. Mean scores for all items are based on a scale of 1—5, with higher scores reflecting increased proportions of engaging in sexual activity.
For descriptive purposes, we listed the top 25 reasons why women engaged in sex separately for each of the three age groups. As seen in Table 4 , the items were remarkably similar across the age groups. Also noteworthy, 10 of the 13 items that fall under the love and commitment subfactor were listed among the top 25 reasons for having sex among 23—30 and 31—45 years, and nine of the 13 were listed among to year olds.
Three of the remaining seven items that made up the top 25 list were from the physical desirability subfactor for each age group of women, two items were from the experience seeking subfactor for 23—30 and to year olds three for the 18—22 age group , and the final remaining items were from either the expression or the stress reduction subfactors. These reasons are from the current item modified YSEX? Questionnaire, which is based on the original item YSEX?Mature people looking ladies sex
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