Positive sexual health and psychological well-being


Galinsky, Adena; M; & Sonenstein, Freya (2008). Positive sexual health and psychological well-being. 2008 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.


Background: Common sexual health discourse assumes the importance of pleasure, as well as connections between sexual and other kinds of well being, but these relationships have not yet been empirically validated by population studies. Objectives: To examine the association between sexual pleasure and psychological well being. Methods: This study uses Wave III data. The sample consists of those respondents still in a relationship with their most recent sexual partner at Wave III, whose relationships are heterosexual and of 3 or more months duration, and who had at least one type of oral sex (N=5726 receiving and N=5384 performing). We will estimate ordered logistic regression models, regressing how much the respondent likes each kind of oral sex with their partner (very much, somewhat, neither likes nor dislikes, dislikes somewhat, dislikes very much) on the self esteem score (scale from Daniels & Leaper, 2006; alpha=0.78) and on the life satisfaction indicator (very dissatisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, satisfied, very satisfied), controlling for individual and relationship characteristics. Preliminary Results: Initial analyses show a positive relationship between life satisfaction and pleasure from receiving and giving oral sex among men but not among women. Also, a positive relationship between self esteem and liking oral performing sex is evident among both men and women. In contrast, the relationship between self esteem and liking oral receiving sex is only seen among women. Relationship quality partially mediates these relationships, while frequency of sex modifies these relationships.



Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2008 Add Health Users Conference


Galinsky, Adena
Sonenstein, Freya

Year Published



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center

City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID