Although there is growing evidence of an association between disordered eating and sexual dysfunction, the mechanism underlying this association is still unclear. In the current study, we sought to examine the mediating role of sexual motivation between disordered eating and sexual dysfunction. We used a multi-path mediation model to examine the mediating role of sexual motivation between disordered eating and sexual functioning among a sample of 341 non-clinical women in a steady relationship. Analysis revealed two significant mediation paths associating disordered eating with sexual functioning: (1) a high level of disordered eating was significantly linked with higher motivation for partner approval via sex and sexuality which, in turn, was associated with lower sexual functioning and (2) a high level of disordered eating was significantly linked with lower enhancement sexual motivation which, in turn, was associated with lower sexual functioning. This study extends the existing knowledge by offering an explanation for the relation between disordered eating and sexual dysfunction via sexual motives. Findings from the current study suggest women with disordered eating utilized sex for self-affirmation, for coping with negative emotions, for partner approval, and to increase intimacy. Also, these women were not likely to engage in sex for enhancement reasons.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College at Emek Yezreel.
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
- Disordered eating
- Sexual function
- Sexual motives
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychology (all)