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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Daily diary study of adult men’s and women’s event-level sexual motivations and sexual behaviour

Devon J. Hensel A B E , Fei He C , Jarek Harezlak D and J. Dennis Fortenberry A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 410 West 10th Street, Room 1001, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

B Department of Sociology, Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

C Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

D Department of Biostatistics, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA.

E Corresponding author. Email: djhensel@iu.edu

Sexual Health 14(2) 147-154 https://doi.org/10.1071/SH16109
Submitted: 3 June 2016  Accepted: 14 September 2016   Published: 25 November 2016

Abstract

Background: Understanding people’s sexual motivations has long been of public health and health promotion interest. We used daily diaries to examine how adult men’s and women’s event-specific affective sexual motivations were linked to the types and combinations of sexual behaviours chosen in a given sexual event. Methods: Adult men (n = 156) and women (n = 192) completed thrice-daily electronic diaries assessing individual- and partner-specific attributes and non-coital or coital sexual behaviours. Sexual motivations were: interest in sex, feeling in love with partner, wanted to have sex and partner wanted to have sex. The outcome variable was: sexual behaviour type (no sex, one vaginal sex event, one vaginal sex event + any other sex types, multiple vaginal sex events, any other sex types). Mixed-effect multinomial logistic regression modelled the influence of each sexual motivation on sexual behaviour type (Stata; all p < 0.05). ‘No sex’ was the referent in all models; all models controlled for gender. Results: Participants contributed 14 856 total partner-associated diary entries. Most (54%; women: 56.5%, men: 51.2%) were associated with no sex; when sex occurred, the most common behaviour type was one vaginal sex event (13.1%) for women and other sex types (16.4%) for men. Wanting to have sex or perceiving a partner wanted to have sex were the strongest predictors of sexual behaviour type, and were associated with a greater number of reported sexual behaviours. Conclusions: Event-specific sexual motivations are associated with the choice to have sex, and with variation in the chosen sexual behaviours.


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