Factors associated with sexual arousal, sexual sensation seeking and sexual satisfaction among female African American adolescents

Jessica M. Sales, Erica L. Smearman, Gene H. Brody, Robin Milhausen, Robert A. Philibert, Ralph DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Sexuality-related constructs, such as sexual arousal, sexual sensation seeking (SSS) and sexual satisfaction, have been related to sexual behaviours that place one at risk of adverse consequences, such as sexually transmissible infections, HIV and unintended pregnancy. The biopsychosocial model posits an array of factors, ranging from social environmental factors to biological and psychological predispositions, that may be associated with these sexuality constructs in adolescents. Methods: Female African Americans aged 14-20 years were recruited from reproductive health clinics for an HIV intervention. Baseline survey and follow-up DNA data (n=304) were used to assess biological, psychological and social environmental associations with the sexuality constructs of arousal, SSS and sexual satisfaction. Results: Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that a higher depressive symptom rating was associated with higher arousability, whereas short serotonin transporter gene allele(s) status was associated with lower arousability. Impulsivity and perceived peer norms supportive of unsafe sexual behaviours were associated with increased SSS, whereas short serotonin transporter gene allele(s) status was associated with lower SSS. Higher social support was associated with higher levels of sexual satisfaction, whereas short serotonin transporter gene allele(s) status was associated with lower satisfaction. The sexuality constructs were also significantly related to the number of sex partners, the frequency of vaginal sex and the number of unprotected vaginal sex acts in the past 6 months. Conclusions: The findings emphasise the importance of understanding biopsychosocial factors, including the role of serotonin as an indicator of natural variations in sexual inclination and behaviours, that influence sexuality constructs, which, in turn, are associated with sexual behaviours, to allow further refinement of sexual health clinical services and programs and promote the development of healthy sexuality. Journal compilation

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-521
Number of pages10
JournalSexual Health
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2 2013

Fingerprint

Orgasm
Sexuality
Arousal
African Americans
Sexual Behavior
Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
Alleles
Reproductive Health
Psychology
Genes
Unsafe Sex
Impulsive Behavior
Biological Factors
Social Support
Health Services
HIV Infections
Linear Models
Serotonin
Regression Analysis
HIV

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Impulsivity
  • Peer norms
  • Serotonin genetics
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Sexual health
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Factors associated with sexual arousal, sexual sensation seeking and sexual satisfaction among female African American adolescents. / Sales, Jessica M.; Smearman, Erica L.; Brody, Gene H.; Milhausen, Robin; Philibert, Robert A.; DiClemente, Ralph.

In: Sexual Health, Vol. 10, No. 6, 02.12.2013, p. 512-521.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sales, Jessica M. ; Smearman, Erica L. ; Brody, Gene H. ; Milhausen, Robin ; Philibert, Robert A. ; DiClemente, Ralph. / Factors associated with sexual arousal, sexual sensation seeking and sexual satisfaction among female African American adolescents. In: Sexual Health. 2013 ; Vol. 10, No. 6. pp. 512-521.
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