An evaluation of the relationship between body image and sexual avoidance

J Sex Res. 2011 Jul;48(4):397-408. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2010.499522.

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between body image and sexual avoidance. Of particular interest was whether this relationship was mediated by other variables. Participants were 362 undergraduate students who responded to a battery of questionnaires pertaining to three aspects of body image, sexually avoidant behavior, and three mediator variables, which included sexual esteem, sexual satisfaction, and sexual desire. Consistent with previous studies, a relationship between body image and sexual avoidance was found, indicating that those with a more negative body image displayed a greater tendency to avoid sexual activity. Furthermore, sexual esteem, sexual satisfaction, and sexual desire appeared to mediate this relationship. Implications of these results suggest that these mediator variables are important in the relationship between body image and sexual avoidance, and may be useful targets for those seeking treatment for sexual avoidance issues. Limitations of the study and avenues for future research are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Concept*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Young Adult