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01-02-2008 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2008

Cognitive Therapy and Research 1/2008

Differences in Automatic Thoughts Presented During Sexual Activity Between Sexually Functional and Dysfunctional Men and Women

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 1/2008
Auteurs:
Pedro J. Nobre, José Pinto-Gouveia

Abstract

The study is aimed at investigating the differences between individuals with and without sexual dysfunction on the automatic thoughts content (reported as usually presented) during sexual activity. A total of 491 individuals (163 women and 232 men without sexual problems and 47 women and 49 men with a DSM-IV diagnosis of sexual dysfunction) answered the Sexual Modes Questionnaire (SMQ; Nobre and Pinto-Gouveia (J Sex Res 40:368–382, 2003). Results indicated that men and women with sexual dysfunction reported having had significantly more negative thoughts during sexual activity compared to sexually healthy individuals. Failure and disengagement thoughts (I’m not satisfying my partner, I’m not getting turned on, when will this be over?), sexual abuse thoughts (this is disgusting, he only wants to satisfy himself), and lack of erotic thoughts were significantly more common in women with sexual dysfunction compared to sexually healthy women. Additionally, men with sexual dysfunction presented significantly higher scores on erection concern thoughts (I must be able to have intercourse, I must achieve an erection), failure anticipation thoughts (this is not going anywhere, I’m condemned to failure), and lack of erotic thoughts compared to men without sexual dysfunction. Overall, findings support clinical observations and experimental findings, indicating that cognitive distraction from erotic cues is strongly associated with sexual dysfunction. The increased use of cognitive techniques on the treatment of sexual dysfunction is a major implication of the study.

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