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12-10-2016 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2017

Cognitive Therapy and Research 2/2017

Incompetence Schemas and Sexual Functioning in Heterosexual and Lesbian Women: The Mediator Role of Automatic Thoughts and Affective States During Sexual Activity

Tijdschrift:
Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 2/2017
Auteurs:
Maria Manuela Peixoto, Pedro Nobre

Abstract

Incompetence schemas, automatic thoughts and affective states have been described as maintenance factors for female sexual dysfunction. However, studies have been conducted only with heterosexual samples. Current study aims to analyze the mediator role of automatic thoughts and state affect during sexual activity in the relationship between incompetence schemas and sexual functioning, in women with different sexual orientations. Participants completed the Questionnaire of Cognitive Schemas Activation in Sexual Context, the Sexual Modes Questionnaire—Automatic Thoughts Subscale, the Positive Affect—Negative Affect Scale, and the Female Sexual Functioning Index. Seven-hundred and seventy-five women (593 heterosexuals; 182 lesbian) completed an online survey assessing cognitive factors and sexual functioning. Structural equation modeling was performed for both samples, separately. For the heterosexual sample, failure thoughts, lack of erotic thoughts, positive affect, and negative affect were found to be mediators. For the lesbian sample, sexual abuse thoughts, failure thoughts, lack of erotic thoughts, and positive affect were found to be mediators. Overall, failure thoughts, lack of erotic thoughts and positive affect during sexual activity significantly mediated the relationship between incompetence schemas and female sexual functioning. The findings support the cognitive model and emphasize the core role of cognitive and affective factors in predicting sexual functioning in both lesbian and heterosexual women.

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