Positive sexuality and its impact on overall well-being

  • R.M. AndersonEmail author


Historically, the issue of sexual health has been largely considered with respect to the associated negative health outcomes. The dangers of sexual activity such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV/AIDS, unintended pregnancy, sexual coercion, and sexual violence have dominated the attention of those working in the field. Over the last 20 years, and particularly in the last decade, an increasing number of people from a variety disciplines that address issues of sexual health have developed a new discourse concerning the positive aspects of sexuality. This review of the literature explores this emerging discourse. The results indicate that sexual health, physical health, mental health, and overall well-being are all positively associated with sexual satisfaction, sexual self-esteem, and sexual pleasure. The beneficial effects of sexual satisfaction should be integrated into programs that seek to improve these diverse health outcomes through service delivery, prevention, and sexuality education.


Sexual health Sexual satisfaction Sexual self-esteem Sexual pleasure Overall well-being 

Positive Sexualität und ihre Auswirkungen auf das allgemeine Wohlbefinden


In der Vergangenheit wurde das Thema sexuelle Gesundheit vor allem mit Blick auf die möglichen negativen Folgen für die Gesundheit gesehen. Die Gefahren sexueller Aktivitäten wie sexuell übertragbare Infektionen („sexually transmitted infections“, STIs), HIV/Aids, ungewollte Schwangerschaft, sexuelle Nötigung und sexuelle Gewalt standen im Zentrum der Aufmerksamkeit. In den letzten 20 Jahren, vor allem aber im letzten Jahrzehnt, entwickelte sich jedoch in verschiedenen, mit den Themen der sexuellen Gesundheit befassten Disziplinen ein neuer Diskurs, der stärker die positiven Aspekte in den Fokus rückt. Die vorliegende Übersicht über die dazu veröffentlichte Literatur geht diesem neuen Diskurs auf den Grund. Die Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass sexuelle Gesundheit, körperliche Gesundheit, mentale Gesundheit und allgemeines Wohlbefinden positiv mit sexueller Befriedigung, sexuellem Selbstwertgefühl und sexueller Lust assoziiert sind. Die positiven Auswirkungen einer sexuellen Befriedigung sollten in Programmen, die darauf abzielen, die gesundheitliche Situation durch Angebote, Prävention und sexuelle Aufklärung zu verbessern, berücksichtigt werden.


Sexuelle Gesundheit Sexuelle Befriedigung Sexuelles Selbstwertgefühl Sexuelle Lust Allgemeines Wohlbefinden 


Conflict of interest

The author states that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guttmacher InstituteNew YorkUSA

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