Gender differences in desire discrepancy as a predictor of sexual and relationship satisfaction in a college sample of heterosexual romantic relationships

Kristen P. Mark, Sarah H. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors examined desire discrepancy and its effect on sexual and relationship satisfaction in a sample of 133 heterosexual couples attending a midsize university. Couples were required to be in a relationship for at least 1 year (M = 4.32 years, SD = 3.13 years); 23.7% of the couples were cohabitating. Hierarchical multiple regression results indicated that higher desire discrepancy scores significantly predicted women's (but not men's) lower sexual satisfaction after controlling for relationship satisfaction. Higher desire discrepancy scores significantly predicted men's (but not women's) lower relationship satisfaction after controlling for sexual satisfaction. The authors assessed gender differences using a mixed model with the dyad and gender as factors and satisfaction as the outcome. Although gender difference patterns appeared in the regression models, the differences were nonsignificant within each couple in the extent to which desire discrepancy affected sexual and relationship satisfaction. These findings suggest moving away from focusing on only one partner with low desire and shifting attention to the dyad's interaction. Also, the way in which desire discrepancy affects sexual and relationship satisfaction deserves consideration. Therapeutic implications and study limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-215
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in desire discrepancy as a predictor of sexual and relationship satisfaction in a college sample of heterosexual romantic relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this