Sexuality, quality of life and quality of the couple relationship. A study promoted by the Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology on a nonclinical sample

Author/s Vieri Boncinelli, Salvatore Caruso, Andrea Genazzani, Maria Teresa Molo, Cristina Civilotti, Giulia Di Fini, Cristina Rossetto, Silvia Testa, Giuseppina Barbero, Domenico Trotta, Fabio Veglia
Publishing Year 2016 Issue 2016/2 Language Italian
Pages 22 P. 57-78 File size 250 KB
DOI 10.3280/RSC2016-002004
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

The study aims to identify, on a non-clinical sample distributed on the Italian territory, the relationships between couple satisfaction, sexual satisfaction and quality of life, analysing possible differences according to sociodemographic variables, such as age, gender and education. A self-report questionnaire with many tools was administrated: questionnaire about sexual activities, DAS, PGWBI. The recruitment of participants took place on a voluntary basis through FISS locations throughout Italy. The final number of questionnaires analysed is 963 (58.7% women and 41.3% men). The majority of the sample has achieved the DAS score above the cut-off. It was found a positive correlation between this variable and the scores on the scale related to sexual complicity-satisfaction. The perception of the quality of life was positively correlated to the quality of the couple relationship. As regards the sexual satisfaction, men and women are similarly distributed on satisfaction-dissatisfaction continuum. The last two age groups considered (from 41 to 50 years and from 51 to 60 years) resulted less sexually satisfied. Regarding the variable of not Penile-Vaginal Intercouse (not PVI), men recorded a higher frequency than women. The scale related to these practices was positively correlated to the sexual complicity-satisfaction scale. A picture of sexuality in Italy emerged showing how the subjects are generally satisfied with their sex life and couple life and how the two types of satisfaction are related. An updated description of these issues can be useful in order to mobilize the competent professionals to implement information programmes and sexual education for the population.

Keywords: Sexual satisfaction, sexual practices, quality of life, couple relationship.

  1. Barbagli M., Dalla Zuanna G., Garelli F. (2010). La sessualità degli italiani. Il Mulino, Bologna.
  2. Boncinelli V., Scaletti D.G., Nanini C., Daino D., Genazzani A.R. (2013). Sexual fantasies and female hypoactive desire. Sexologies, 22(1): e16-9.
  3. Bridges A.J., Morokoff P.J. (2011). Sexual media use and relational satisfaction in heterosexual couples. Personal Relationships, 18(4): 562-85.
  4. Brody S., Costa M.R. (2009). Satisfaction (sexual, life, relationship, and mental health) is associated directly with penil-vaginal intercourse but inversely with other sexual behavior frequencies. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6: 1947-54.
  5. Byers E.S. (2005). Relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction: a longitudinal study of individuals in long-term relationships. The Journal of Sex Research, 42(2): 113-8. DOI: 10.1080/00224490509552264
  6. Chisholm K.E., McCabe M.P., Wootten A.C., Abbott J.A.M. (2012). Review: psychosocial interventions addressing sexual or relationship functioning in men with prostate cancer. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(5): 1246-60.
  7. Christopher F.S., Sprecher S. (2000). Sexuality in marriage, dating, and other relationships: a decade review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 62 (4): 999-1017. 
  8. Costa R.M., Brody S. (2007). Women’s relationship quality is associated with specifically penile-vaginal intercourse orgasm and frequency. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 33 (4): 319-27. DOI: 10.1080/00926230701385548
  9. Daneback K., Træen B., Månsson S.A. (2009). Use of pornography in a random sample of Norwegian heterosexual couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(5): 746-53.
  10. Deeks A.A., McCabe M.P. (2001). Sexual Function and the Menopausal woman: the importance of age and partner’s sexual functioning. Journal of Sex Research, 38(3): 219-25.
  11. Dupuy H.J. (1984). The psychological general well-being (PGWB) index. In: Wenger N.K., Mattson M.E., Furburg C.D., Elinson J. (eds.), Assessment of quality of life in clinical trials of cardiovascular therapies, New York: Le Jacq Publishing, 170-83.
  12. Elders M.J. (2010). Sex for health and pleasure throughout a lifetime. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7(s5), 248-9.
  13. Grossi E., Groth E., Mosconi P., Cerutti R., Pace F., Compare A., Apolone G. (2006). Development and validation of the short version of the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWB-S). Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 4,88. DOI: 10.1186/1477-7525-4-88
  14. Higgins J.A., Mullinax M., Trussell J., Davidson Sr J.K., Moore N.B. (2011). Sexual satisfaction and sexual health among university students in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 101(9): 1643. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300154
  15. Hisasue S.I., Kumamoto Y., Sato Y., Masumori N., Horita H., Kato R., Itoh, N. (2005). Prevalence of female sexual dysfunction symptoms and its relationship to quality of life: a Japanese female cohort study. Urology, 65(1): 143-8.
  16. Hoekstra T., Jaarsma T., Sanderman R., van Veldhuisen D.J., Lesman-Leegte I. (2012). Perceived sexual difficulties and associated factors in patients with heart failure. American Heart Journal, 163(2): 246-51.
  17. Holt-Lunstad J., Birmingham W., Jones B.Q. (2008). Impact of marital status, relationship quality, and network social support on ambulatory blood pressure and mental health. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 35: 239-44.
  18. Kingsberg S.A. (2002). The impact of aging on sexual function on women and their partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 31(5): 431-37.
  19. La France B.H. (2010), Predicting Sexual Satisfaction in Interpersonal Relationships. Southern Communication Journal, 75 (3): 195-214. 
  20. Laumann E.O., Paik A., Rosen R.C. (1999). Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors. Journal of American Medical Association, 281: 537-44. 
  21. Lawrence K., Byers S. (1995). Sexual Satisfaction in long-term heterosexual relationships: the interpersonal exchange model of sexual satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 2: 267-85.
  22. Lee J.T., Lin C.L., Wan G.H., Liang C.C. (2010). Sexual positions and sexual satisfaction of pregnant women. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 36: 408-20. DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2010.510776
  23. Litzinger S., Gordon K.C. (2005). Exploring relationships among communication, sexual satisfaction, and marital satisfaction. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 31: 409-24. DOI: 10.1080/00926230591006719
  24. Lo Piccolo J., Steger J.C. (1974), The Sexual Interaction Inventory: a new instrument for assessment of sexual dysfunction. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 3(6): 585-95. DOI: 10.1007/BF01541141
  25. MacNeil S., Byers E.S. (2009). Role of sexual self-disclosure in the sexual satisfaction of long-term heterosexual couples. Journal of Sex Research, 46(1): 3-14.  DOI: 10.1080/00224490802398399
  26. Milbury K., Badr H. (2013). Sexual problems, communication patterns, and depressive symptoms in couples coping with metastatic breast cancer. Psycho‐Oncology, 22(4): 814-22.
  27. Mulhall J., King R., Glina S., Hvidsten K. (2008). Importance of and satisfaction with sex among men and women worldwide: results of the Global better sex survey. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5: 788-95.
  28. Namiki S., Ishidoya S., Nakagawa H., Ito A., Kaiho Y., Tochigi T., Arai, Y. (2012). The Relationships Between Preoperative Sexual Desire and Quality of Life Following Radical Prostatectomy: A 5‐Year Follow‐Up Study. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(9): 2448-56.
  29. Nezhad M.Z., Goodarzi A.M. (2011). Sexuality, Intimacy, and Marital Satisfaction in Iranian first-time parents. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 37: 77-88. DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2011.547336
  30. Perz J., Ussher J.M., Gilbert E. (2014). Feeling well and talking about sex: Psycho-social predictors of sexual functioning after cancer. BMC Cancer, 14(1): 228. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-228
  31. Philippsohn S., Hartmann U. (2009). Determinants of sexual satisfaction in a sample of German women. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6 (4): 1001-10.
  32. Ruffilli M.P. (2003) (a cura di), I comportamenti sessuali degli italiani. Falsi miti e nuove normalità, Franco Angeli, Milano.
  33. Sale P., Mazzarella F., Pagliacci M.C., Agosti M., Felzani, G., Franceschini, M. (2012). Predictors of changes in sentimental and sexual life after traumatic spinal cord injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93(11): 1944-9.
  34. Spanier G.B. (1976). Measuring Dyadic Adjustment: new scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38: 15-28.
  35. Stack S., Wasserman I., Kern R. (2004). Adult Social Bonds and Use of Internet Pornography. Social Science Quarterly, 85(1): 75-88.
  36. Stanik C.E., Bryant C.M. (2012). Sexual satisfaction, perceived availability of alternative partners, and marital quality in newlywed African American couples. Journal of Sex Research, 49(4): 400-7.  DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2011.568127.
  37. Tao P., Brody S. (2011). Sexual behavior predictors of satisfaction in a Chinese sample. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8: 455-60.
  38. Testa S., Civilotti C., Di Fini G., Rossetto C., Boncinelli V., Veglia F. (in press). Development of two equivalent short forms of the Psychological General Well-Being Index: PGWBI-A and PGWBI-B. TPM - Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology. DOI: 10.4473/TPM23.2.2
  39. Timm T.M., Keiley M.K. (2011). The effects of differentiation of Self, Adult Attachment, and Sexual Communication on Sexual and Marital Satisfaction: a path analysis. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 37: 206-23. DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2011.564513
  40. Veglia F. (2004). Manuale di educazione sessuale, Volume 1 Teoria e metodologia, Edizioni Erikson, Trento.
  41. Veglia F. (2005). Manuale di educazione sessuale, Volume 2 Interventi e percorsi secondo il Metodo Narrativo. Trento: Edizioni Erikson.
  42. Veglia F., Pellegrini R. (2003). C’era una volta la prima volta. Gardolo di Trento: Centro Studi Erickson.
  43. Yeh H., Lorenz F.O., Wickrama K.A.S. (2006). Relationships among sexual satisfacting, marital quality, and marital instability at midlife. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(2): 339-43. DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.2.33
  44. Young M., Denny G., Luquis R., Young T. (1998). Correlates of sexual satisfaction in marriage. Canadian Journal of Human Saxuality, 7(2): 115-27.
  45. Yucel D., Gassanov M.A. (2010). Exploring actor and partner correlates of sexual satisfaction among married couples. Social Science Research, 39: 725-38. 

  • The Long‐Term Effects of Cancer Treatment on Sexuality and Couple Relationships Valentina Elisabetta Di Mattei, Gaia Perego, Paola Taranto, Martina Mazzetti, Elena Marotta, Massimo Candiani, Stefano Salvatore, in Family Process /2021 pp.853
    DOI: 10.1111/famp.12604
  • The Sexual Activity Questionnaire (SAQ): a psychometric evaluation Vieri Boncinelli, Cristina Civilotti, Roberto Bernorio, Salvatore Caruso, Giulia Di Fini, Roberta Giommi, Elena Lenzi, Giuseppe Mori, Cristina Rossetto, Roberta Rossi, Chiara Simonelli, Anna Tampelli, Fabio Veglia, Silvia Testa, in Sexual and Relationship Therapy /2022 pp.489
    DOI: 10.1080/14681994.2020.1746260

Vieri Boncinelli, Salvatore Caruso, Andrea Genazzani, Maria Teresa Molo, Cristina Civilotti, Giulia Di Fini, Cristina Rossetto, Silvia Testa, Giuseppina Barbero, Domenico Trotta, Fabio Veglia, Sessualità, qualità della relazione di coppia e qualità della vita. Una ricerca promossa dalla Federazione Italiana di Sessuologia Scientifica su campione non clinico in "RIVISTA DI SESSUOLOGIA CLINICA" 2/2016, pp 57-78, DOI: 10.3280/RSC2016-002004