Sex Roles

, Volume 61, Issue 1–2, pp 120–129 | Cite as

Sexual Desire and Depression Following Spinal Cord Injury: Masculine Sexual Prowess as a Moderator

  • Shaun Michael BurnsEmail author
  • Sigmund Hough
  • Briana L. Boyd
  • Justin Hill
Original Article


Men’s adherence to masculine norms stressing sexual prowess may contribute to their adjustment to changes in sexual functioning following spinal cord injury. The authors test this hypothesis by examining the moderating role of men’s conformity to gender norms for sexual prowess on the relationship between sexual desire and depression. One hundred and sixteen male citizens of the United States with spinal cord injuries were recruited for participation in the internet-based survey. Results indicated that participants with strong sexual desire evinced higher rates of depression when they conformed to masculine norms emphasizing sexual prowess. Men with little reported sexual desire, by contrast, demonstrated lower rates of depression when they endorsed norms for prowess. Directions for future research and treatment interventions are offered.


Gender roles Masculinity Mental health Sexual functioning Spinal cord injury 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaun Michael Burns
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sigmund Hough
    • 1
  • Briana L. Boyd
    • 2
  • Justin Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.VA Boston Healthcare System, Harvard University Medical SchoolBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Institute of LivingHartford HospitalHartfordUSA

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