Skip to main content

Communication of sexual preferences in married couples

Abstract

The relationship between marital satisfaction and communication of sexual behavior preferences was investigated in a sample of 61 white, middle-class married couples. Using a paired-reports questionnaire, we examined two components of communication: agreement (the number of similar preferences of the spouses) and understanding (accurate perception of the partner’s preferences). Agreement was found to be significantly related to marital happiness of the couples, whereas understanding was found to be significantly related only to wives’ marital satisfaction. Wives also demonstrated greater understanding of their husbands’ sexual preferences than husbands did of their wives’. Other variables—length of marriage, frequency of coitus, number of children at home, and the spouses’ ages and educational levels—were not shown to be related to sexual communication or marital satisfaction.

References

  1. Hunt, M. (1974). Sexual behavior in the 1970’s. Chicago: Playboy Press.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Kaplan, H. S. (1974). The new sex therapies. New York: Brunner/Mazel.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Laing, R. D., Phillipson, Z. H., & Lee, A. R. (1966). Interpersonal perception: A theory and a method of research. London: Tavistock.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Lopiccolo, J., & Steger, J. C. (1974). The Sexual Interaction Inventory: A new instrument for assessment of sexual dysfunction. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 3, 585–595.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Martin, P. A. (1975). Male-female differences in desired frequency of intercourse. Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 11, 108–117.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Mudd, E. H., Stein, M., & Mitchell, H. E. (1961). Paired reports of sexual behavior of husbands and wives in conflicted marriages. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 2, 149–155.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Parsons, T. (1959). The social structure of the family. In R. N. Anshen (Ed.), The family: Its function and destiny. New York: Harper.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Wallin, P., & Clark, A. L. (1958). Marital satisfaction and husband’s and wive’s perception of similarity in their preferred frequency of coitus. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 47, 370–373.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joellyn L. Ross.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ross, J.L., Clifford, R.E. & Eisenman, R. Communication of sexual preferences in married couples. Bull. Psychon. Soc. 25, 58–60 (1987). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03330078

Download citation

Keywords

  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Preference
  • Married Couple
  • Marital Satisfaction
  • Sexual Communication