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Sexual Desire and Relationship Duration in Young Men and Women

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Sexual desire is often present at the beginning of a romantic relationship. However, research is divided regarding whether, and how, desire is experienced as a relationship progresses. The authors examined relationship duration and its effect on sexual desire in a sample of 170 undergraduate men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Hierarchical multiple regression results indicated that women's sexual desire was significantly and negatively predicted by relationship duration after controlling for age, relationship satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. Men's sexual desire, however, was not significantly affected by the duration of their romantic relationships. These findings suggest that men and women may have different experiences with sexual desire as relationships progress and that sexual desire might be affected by different factors depending on one's gender. Possible reasons for these results are suggested and therapeutic implications are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Family Relations and Applied Nutrition,University of Guelph, Guelph,Ontario, Canada

Publication date: 01 January 2012

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