, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 607-618

The Association Between Sexual Motives and Sexual Satisfaction: Gender Differences and Categorical Comparisons

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Past research suggests that sexual satisfaction may be partially dependent on sexual motives (the reasons people have sex). The primary goal of this study was to determine which of a wide range of empirically derived sexual motives were related to sexual satisfaction, and whether gender differences existed in these relationships. Examining data from 544 undergraduate participants (93 men, 451 women), we found that certain types of motives predicted levels of sexual satisfaction for both genders. However, a greater number of motive categories were related to satisfaction for women than for men, and sexual motives were a more consistent predictor of satisfaction in general for women than for men. We also found that empirical categories of motives predicted more variance in satisfaction ratings than did previously used theoretical categories. These findings suggest that a wide range of sexual motives are related to sexual satisfaction, that these connections may be moderated by gender, and that empirically-constructed categories of motives may be the most effective tool for studying this link.