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Sexual compatibility and sexual functioning in intimate relationships.

ABSTRACT: Sexual compatibility is an important element shaping the sexual functioning of an intimate relationship. In this study we expected that levels of sexual compatibility between partners would be related to differential levels of sexual functioning in intimate relationships, but that this relation might differ for men and women. Fifty-eight heterosexual couples responded to self-report measures of sexual functioning (satisfaction, depression, and anxiety), and perceived sexual compatibility. The results indicate that the relationship between an individual's perception of their compatibility with their partner and sexual depression and anxiety was stronger for women than men. In addition, the partner's perception of compatibility predicted sexual depression and anxiety for men but not women. For both men and women, an individual's perception and their partner's perception of compatibility were predictive of sexual satisfaction. This pattern of association between sexual compatibility and sexual functioning has implications for couples presenting with sexual concerns in therapy.

Key words: Sexual compatibility Sexual satisfaction Sexual depression Sexual anxiety Gender differences

INTRODUCTION

Sexual compatibility is an important element shaping the sexual functioning experienced in an intimate relationship. Indeed, research has found that compatibility is significantly related to sexual satisfaction (Smith, Becket, Byrne, & Przybyla, 1993), and a desire for sexual activity (Apt, Hurlbert, Sarmiento, & Hurlbert, 1996a; Hurlbert, Apt, & Rombough, 1996). However, it has been suggested that gender differences may exist in perceptions of sexual compatibility (Apt et al., 1996a; Hurlbert et al., 1996), and in the factors that affect what are considered satisfactory sexual experiences (Bridges, Lease, & Ellison, 2004). Indeed, women have been found to be more likely than men to report emotional and relational qualities as the rewarding aspect of positive sexual functioning (Lawrance & Byers, 1995), and hence these factors may play a greater role in women's sexual functioning than the quality of the sexual interaction per se (Apt, Hurlbert, Pierce, & White, 1996b). In contrast, men are more likely to place an emphasis on sexual behaviour as a determinant of their sexual satisfaction (Marlin, 1993), raising the possibility that their perceptions of sexual compatibility (i.e., meeting sexual needs) may play a critical role in the sexual functioning reported by men.

Sexual compatibility is defined as similarities in the emotional, cognitive and behavioural components of a sexual relationship (Apt et al., 1996a). The emotional component includes feeling sexually understood by a partner or sexually close whereas the cognitive aspect reflects sexual beliefs, desires and attitudes. Sexual compatibility has also been referred to in terms of sexual agreement (Purnine & Carey, 1997), which involves a couple's understanding of one another' s sexual preferences, and the degree of concordance in those preferences. It is important to note that compatibility is a reflection of the extent to which partners perceive themselves to share sexual needs, beliefs and preferences, but these perceptions, or lack thereof, do not necessarily translate into individuals' evaluations of the sexual functioning of the relationship.

Sexual functioning is a multidimensional construct, although much of the research singularly defines it in terms of the levels of sexual satisfaction reported by intimate partners. Sexual satisfaction is the affective response that arises from an individual's evaluations of his or her sexual relationship, including perceptions that one's sexual needs are being met, fulfilling one's own and the partner's sexual expectations, and deriving an overall positive evaluation of the sexual relationship (Hurlbert & Apt, 1994; Lawrance & Byers, 1995). Not surprisingly, sexual satisfaction has been found to be positively associated with perceived sexual compatibility (Smith et al., 1993) and sexual agreement (Purnine & Carey, 1997, 1999).

Less attention has been paid to the factors that might influence other dimensions reflecting sexual functioning, including sexual depression and anxiety. Sexual depression involves feeling distressed or disappointed about the quality of one's sex life, or disheartened about a lack of sexual relations with the intimate partner (Thurman & Silver, 1997). Sexual depression is not equivalent to a lack of sexual satisfaction; for example, under some conditions (e.g., new parents, during times of illness), one may be sexually unsatisfied but not sexually depressed. A third component of sexual functioning is sexual anxiety, which entails feelings of worry, uneasiness or nervousness related to sexual behaviour, and is reflected in feelings of discomfort or tension about one's sexual life (Snell, Fisher, & Waiters, 1993). Bearing in mind that a lack of compatibility has been linked to sexual difficulties (Carey & Purnine, 1997; Rosen & Leiblum, 1988), and that general depression (Nicolosi, Moreira, Villa, & Glasser, 2004) and anxiety (Van Minnen & Kampman, 2000) have been linked to decreases in sexual functioning, it is reasonable to believe that reductions in sexual compatibility ought to be associated with greater sexual depression and anxiety.

The relations between perceptions of sexual compatibility and greater sexual satisfaction along with lower sexual depression and anxiety are not surprising. However, the importance of sexual compatibility to the sexual functioning of men versus women may differ, although the nature of this difference likely depends on how sexual compatibility is defined. As noted earlier, among women, sexual satisfaction tends to relate positively to levels of emotional closeness in the relationship (Hurlbert, Apt, & Rabehl, 1993) and the degree of emotional involvement with their partners (Newcomb & Bentler, 1983). Thus, it could be argued that women may be most sensitive to the couple's compatibility if they view it as an index of the level of intimacy within the relationship. In this instance, women's perceptions of compatibility may be integrally linked to their own sexual functioning. In contrast to women, previous research has demonstrated that compatibility in the frequency of sexual intercourse (Nicolosi, Moreira, Villa, & Glasser, 2004) is a good predictor of sexual functioning among men. It has also been suggested that the quality of the actual sexual interaction is related to sexual satisfaction (Matlin, 1993). Taken together, these observations indicate that men may limit compatibility perceptions to the sexual domain, and as such, these perceptions are likely to be related to the greater sexual satisfaction, and lower levels of sexual depression and anxiety among men. Therefore, we would expect that to the extent that compatibility perceptions are limited to the sexual domain, such perceptions are likely to be related to the greater sexual satisfaction, and lower levels of sexual depression and anxiety among men, but not among women. On the other hand, if compatibility is an index of intimacy, such perceptions will better predict the sexual functioning of women, but not men.

Sexual functioning in an intimate relationship involves an interaction between partners. Hence, it may be important to take into consideration not only individuals' own perceptions of compatibility, but also the role that their partners' perceptions of compatibility play in shaping individual perceptions of sexual functioning. Sexual functioning might be expected to be greatest among couples in which both partners perceive compatibility and least when neither does. However, given that relationship factors may contribute to perceptions of sexual satisfaction of women (Lawrance & Byers, 1995), their sexual functioning may be particularly dependent on their own perceptions of compatibility with their partner. In contrast, men may view their partner's perceived lower compatibility as a personal failure leading to decreases in satisfaction and increases in depression and anxiety. Indeed, it has been suggested that men's sexuality is based on their performance and less on their own stimulation (Purnine & Carey, 1997). In support of this, research has found that sexual agreement is related to sexual adjustment for both males and females, however, men's understanding of their partner's preferences, but not women's, predicted sexual adjustment (Purnine & Carey, 1997).

Research on sexual compatibility has focused primarily on women (Apt et al., 1996b; Hurlbert et al., 1996; Hurlbert, Apt, Hurlbert & Pierce, 2000), on specific behaviours of individuals across relationships (Apt et al., 1996a), or within couples presenting for therapy (Hurlbert et al., 2000). Little is known about the role of sexual compatibility in the sexual functioning of non-distressed heterosexual couples, and in particular, on the interactive influences of males' and females' perceptions of compatibility on sexual functioning. Thus, it was the goal of the present study to assess the relation between compatibility and sexual functioning within the context of intact heterosexual relationships.

Hypothesis 1: There would be a significant interaction between gender and individuals' perceptions of sexual compatibility on sexual functioning. However, the literature in this regard is mixed. On one hand, to the extent that compatibility perceptions are limited to the sexual domain, such perceptions are likely to be related to the greater sexual satisfaction, and lower levels of sexual depression and anxiety among men, but not among women. On the other hand, if compatibility is an index of intimacy, such perceptions would predict the sexual functioning of women, but not men.

Hypothesis 2: There would be a significant interaction between gender and the relation between their partners' perceptions of sexual compatibility and sexual satisfaction. Specifically, among men, after controlling for their own perceptions, their partner's perceptions of compatibility were expected to be related positively to sexual satisfaction, and negatively related to sexual depression and anxiety. The relations with partners' perceptions of compatibility and sexual functioning were not expected to be significant for women, over and above their own perceptions of sexual compatibility.

METHODS

PARTICIPANTS AND PROCEDURE

Participants were first-year university students and their intimate partners (N = 116; 58 couples). Heterosexual couples interested in participating in a study concerning sexual functioning in intimate relationships completed a questionnaire package that took approximately 45 minutes, on campus (at the lab), or at home. For the couples not participating on campus, one partner was asked to come into the lab to pick up both questionnaire packages, and each partner was provided with a return envelope to mail back their completed questionnaires. Each questionnaire package contained an informed consent sheet, and a one-page debriefing on the last page. Course credit was given to participants enrolled in a first-year psychology course. All participants were entered into a lottery for a dinner for two at a local restaurant.

The mean age of male and female participants did not differ, with ages ranging from 18 to 30 years (M = 20.1 years, SD = 2.92). One older couple was removed from the sample as they were considered outliers in age (44) and may have unduly influenced the results. Couples who were only dating casually comprised only a small percentage of the sample (n = 3; 5.2%), with the majority indicating that they were in a serious relationship but not cohabitating (n = 38; 65.5%). The second largest group was comprised of couples who indicated that they were in a serious relationship and cohabitating (n = 8; 13.8%). The remainder were engaged (n = 5; 8.6%) or married (n = 4; 6.9%). Couples' length of involvement in their current intimate relationships ranged from 9 months to 7 years (M = 26.84, SD = 15.87 months), although this distribution was fairly positively skewed.

The length of involvement in sexual activity in the current intimate relationship ranged from 2 months to 5 years (M = 17.19, SD = 12.34 months). The majority of the couples indicated being sexually active and engaging in sexual intercourse (n = 54 couples; 93.1%), whereas the remainder indicated that they were sexually active but did not engage in sexual intercourse (n = 1; 1.7%), or that they were not currently sexually active (n = 3; 5.2%). All couples were included in the analyses, as even the choice to not be sexually active may reflect sexual compatibility and functioning.

MEASURES

Hurlbert Index of Sexual Compatibility (Hurlbert, White, Powell, & Apt, 1993b). This scale consists of 25 items, and was developed for use in a clinical setting to evaluate the sexual compatibility of intimate partners. Items (e.g., "I think my partner understands me sexually", "My sexual beliefs are similar to those of my partner", "My partner and I share the same sexual likes and dislikes") were scored on 5-point rating scales ranging from 0 (all of the time) to 4 (never). Mean responses were calculated (with relevant items reversed scored), with higher scores indicating greater sexual compatibility ([alpha] = .86).

Indices of sexual functioning. Levels of sexual satisfaction, depression and anxiety were assessed using subscales of the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire (Snell et al., 1993). Each subscale comprised 5 items that were answered on 5-point scales ranging from 1 (not at all characteristic of me) to 5 (very characteristic of me); participants were asked to respond to items based on how they felt in their current relationship. The tendency to be highly satisfied with the sexual aspects of one's life was assessed using the sexual satisfaction subscale (e.g., "My sexual relationship is very good compared to most"). The sexual depression subscale measured the tendency to feel depressed about the sexual aspects of one's life (e.g., "I feel sad when I think about my sexual experiences"). The sexual anxiety scale assessed the tendency to feel tension, discomfort, and anxiety about the sexual aspects of one's life (e.g., "Thinking about the sexual aspects of my life leaves me with an uneasy feeling"). Mean responses were calculated (with relevant items reversed scored), with higher scores indicating greater satisfaction ([alpha] = .88), depression ([alpha] = .82), or sexual anxiety ([alpha] = .71).

RESULTS

GENDER DIFFERENCES

For both men and women, sexual satisfaction was fairly highly negatively correlated with depression (men r = -.73, p<.001, women r = -.76, p<.001), although relations between satisfaction and anxiety were more moderate (men r = -.31, p<.001, women r = -.45, p<.001). Sexual anxiety and depression were fairly strongly positively correlated (men r = .53, p<.001, women r = .68, p<.001). Thus, although the correlations between sexual satisfaction and depression were high, the patterns of correlation between satisfaction and anxiety, and depression and anxiety appeared to differ in magnitude, suggesting that depression was not simply redundant with the inverse of satisfaction.

No gender differences were evident in terms of self-reported levels of sexual compatibility, F = 2.78, ns, [[eta].sup.2].025, satisfaction F = .40, ns, [[eta].sup.2] .003, depression, F= 1.05, ns, [[eta].sup.2].009, or anxiety, F= 1.09, ns, [[eta].sup.2].016 (see Table 1). Given that self-reports were provided by both partners within a couple, it was of interest to consider whether their perceptions and evaluations of their sexual functioning coincided. As seen in Table 1, not surprisingly, both male and female partners' levels of perceived compatibility and self-reported satisfaction and sexual depression were correlated. Feelings of sexual anxiety and depression reported by the partners were not related, although both were inversely related to partners' levels of satisfaction.

THE MODERATING EFFECTS OF GENDER ON THE RELATIONS BETWEEN SEXUAL COMPATIBILITY AND SEXUAL FUNCTIONING

To assess the effects of gender on the relations between a participant's own sexual compatibility and sexual functioning, three hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. For the regressions, indices of sexual functioning (satisfaction, depression and anxiety) were separately regressed firstly onto the main effect of gender, followed by participants' own perceptions of their sexual compatibility on the second step, and on the third step the gender-by-compatibility interaction (cross-product) was entered.

Given that responses reported by couples would not be independent from one another and would therefore violate the assumption of non-independence of variables, a nested design was employed to account for non-independence of couple observations (Cohen & Cohen, 1975). Group differences as a function of couple were examined by employing couple number as a categorical variable. Regression analyses were run using a nested design with the mean squares regression for couple number employed as the error term for assessing the significance of compatibility and the gender-by-compatibility interaction.

As seen in Table 2, gender was not predictive of differences in all three aspects of sexual functioning. However, as expected own compatibility was predictive of satisfaction ([R.sup.2.sub.change] = .37, p<.001), depression ([R.sup.2.sub.change] = .25, p<.001) and anxiety ([R.sup.2.sub.change] = .14, p<. 001), such that satisfaction increased ([beta] = .61, p<.001) and depression and anxiety decreased ([beta] = -.50, p<.001, [beta] = -.37, p<.001; respectively) with increased compatibility. Nevertheless, the gender-by-own compatibility interactions were significant on the third step (i.e., the interactions added significant unique variance after step 1 and 2 variables were accounted for) for sexual depression ([R.sup.2.sub.change] = .03, p<.05) and anxiety ([R.sup.2.sub.change] = .06, p<.05), but not satisfaction ([R.sup.2.sub.change] = .02, ns), suggesting that the relation between own compatibility and sexual depression and anxiety were different for men and women.

Given the significant gender interactions found on step three of the analyses, as suggested in Aiken and West (1991), follow-up simple slope analyses were conducted to determine the nature of the gender differences. For each of these analyses the outcome variables (depression and anxiety) were regressed separately onto own compatibility scores for males and females (in separate regressions). These analyses revealed that among women, perceived own sexual compatibility was a stronger predictor of both lower sexual depression ([beta] = -.64, p<.001) and anxiety ([beta] = -.55, p<.001) than it was for men, ([beta] = -.35, p<.05, [beta] = -.15, ns; respectively) (Table 4). Thus, results suggest that for women, own compatibility is a strong predictor of all three areas of sexual functioning, whereas for men, only sexual satisfaction is strongly predicted by levels of own compatibility.

THE ROLE OF PARTNERS' PERCEPTIONS OF SEXUAL COMPATIBILITY IN RELATION TO SEXUAL FUNCTIONING

It had further been expected that individuals' sexual functioning would be influenced by their partners' perceptions of their sexual compatibility, over and above their own perceptions. To assess this possibility, indices of sexual functioning (satisfaction, depression and anxiety) were separately regressed onto the main effect of gender, followed by their own and their partners' ratings of compatibility on the second step, and on the third step the gender-by-own and gender-by-partner compatibility scores interactions (cross-product) were entered. Once again, the effects pertaining to perceived compatibility were assessed against the error term associated with couple as a nesting variable.

As seen in Table 3, on the second step of the analyses, partners' perceptions of sexual compatibility predicted sexual functioning, and in particular increased sexual satisfaction ([beta] = .34, p<.001) and reduced sexual depression ([beta] = -.37, p<.001), over and above participants' own perceptions. Thus, as expected, sexual functioning was greatest when both members of the couple perceived compatibility, and lowest when they did not. Moreover, the fact that the interactions between gender and partner compatibility were significant in predicting sexual depression ([beta] = .37, p<.05) and anxiety ([beta] = .37, p<.05) on the third step of the analyses, suggests that the relations between partner compatibility and sexual functioning (depression and anxiety) were different for men and women. In order to determine the nature of these gender differences simple slope analyses were conducted by regressing each type of sexual functioning (depression and anxiety) onto partners' perceptions of compatibility separately for men and women. Due to the presence of a suppressor in the gender-by-own compatibility interactions simple effects were conducted cojointly. Results revealed that for men, partner compatibility is a predictor for sexual depression ([beta] = -.70 p<.001) and anxiety ([beta] = -.49, p<.05) but not for women ([beta] = -.10, ns [beta] = .10, ns; respectively) (Table 4). Thus it appears that the female partner's perception of sexual compatibility affects all facets of men's sexual functioning, whereas the male partner's perceptions were relevant only to women' s sexual satisfaction.

Simple slope analyses revealed gender differences in the relations between perceived compatibility and sexual functioning (depression and anxiety). As seen in Table 4, a summary of these analyses shows that for women, an increase in own compatibility predicts a decline in both sexual depression and anxiety while partner compatibility is not related to either measure of sexual functioning. Conversely, for males, own compatibility predicts sexual depression, nevertheless this relation is not as strong as it is for the women. For men, as predicted, partner perceptions of compatibility predict sexual functioning with higher partner perceptions of compatibility being related to lower levels of anxiety and depression.

DISCUSSION

To date, little research has been conducted on the role of sexual compatibility in the sexual functioning of non-distressed heterosexual couples, and in particular on how differences in males' and females' perceptions of sexual compatibility were linked to both their own sexual functioning, and that of their partner. In the present study, we examined the responses of intact couples that varied in the extent to which partners perceived themselves to be sexually compatible. Indeed, male and female partners' perceptions of compatibility and levels of self-reported sexual functioning were related to one another. However, given that these relations were only moderate, there is much room for differences within a couple in terms of their expectations and contentment with their sexual relations.

In the present study, although perceptions of sexual compatibility were related to sexual functioning, the relations between perceived personal compatibility and sexual depression and anxiety were stronger among women than among men, with lower perceptions of compatibility relating to higher levels of depression and anxiety. This is in line with past research that has found that sexual agreement is significantly associated with sexual difficulties reported by women but not men (Purnine & Carey, 1997). Thus, consistent with past research that finds women report the rewards of sexual behaviour as emotional and relation qualities (Lawrance & Byers, 1995), for women in the current study perceptions of sexual compatibility with their partner may have served as an index of intimacy.

Given the importance of relational factors in women's sexual satisfaction (Byers, 2001) and sense of sexual arousal (Poulin, 1992), it may be that women monitor their own sexual compatibility more than males, and therefore lower perceptions of sexual compatibility have a greater impact on their sexual functioning. Indeed, among women, only their own perceptions of compatibility were uniquely predictive of their sexual functioning, whereas among men, their partners' perceptions of compatibility uniquely predicted their own sexual functioning. So while past research suggests that for women some degree of sexual incompatibility between partners is perceived as normal (Apt et al., 1996a; Apt, Hurlbert, Pierce, & White, 1996b; Hurlbert et al., 1996), greater perceptions of incompatibility may be interpreted as deficiencies in the relational context increasing sexual depression and anxiety.

As hypothesized, for men, partner compatibility was a stronger predictor of depression and anxiety than it was for women. For men it may be that lower levels of perceived partner sexual compatibility violate sexual scripts, resulting in increases in sexual depression and anxiety. Indeed, Rosen and Leilblum (1988) suggest that sexual difficulties for men may result from sexual incompatibility. It may be that for men having a partner who assesses you as sexually less compatible violates gender norms and challenges a man's feelings of sexual "prowess." Indeed, research has found that for men the most common sexual complaints, other than too infrequent intercourse, include failure of their partner to reach orgasm and concern with their own sexual adequacy (Snyder & Berg, 1983). Further, if lack of perceived partner compatibility results in a reduction of sexual activity for men, then we would expect an increase in sexual depression as sexual behaviour decreases (Nicolosi et al., 2004).

While this interpretation of our findings seems reasonable, some caution is merited concerning the causal directions of the relations. While we have suggested that sexual compatibility within the relationship might determine sexual functioning, the reverse might also be true, in that prior sexual functioning is also likely to influence individuals' perceptions of compatibility (Metz & Epstein, 2002). In fact, this relationship is likely reciprocal, in that positive sexual functioning may facilitate sexual confidence and exploration, thereby enhancing the probability that the couple will communicate their needs and find commonalities, which in turn would promote positive sexual functioning. Future research would likely benefit from a more longitudinal approach that could determine the direction and strength of this relationship.

Although the present study adopted a multidimensional approach to assessing gender differences in sexual functioning, overall, gender differences were not found for our measure of satisfaction. This is not completely surprising as past research has found that men and women do not differ in levels of sexual satisfaction, rather they differ in what they consider sexually satisfying (Lawrance & Byers, 1995). It may be that the use of non-distressed intact couples, which, on the whole showed larger levels of satisfaction than depression and anxiety, attenuated relations with this dimension. We might expect that more distressed relationships would be more likely to have been terminated, or at the very least, self-selected to not participate in research on sexuality. Additionally, the present findings were likely limited by the use of a university sample, in that the relatively young age of participants may have limited their own sexual self-knowledge and the extent of their experiences for evaluating compatibility. Moreover, this sample was positively skewed toward early relationship experiences. In short, the relations between compatibility and sexual functioning in intimate relationships might be even stronger within a community sample that varies in age, sexual experiences and levels of distress in the relationship.

Despite the highly functioning sample in the present study, the findings may nonetheless have therapeutic implications for those presenting with concerns related to sexual functioning. Similar to past research in sex therapy (Mettz & Epstein, 2002), our findings suggest that counseling should take into account not only the individual, but also the dyad, as partners' perceptions clearly influenced one another. Indeed, this relation may be particularly important when considering male's expectations for their partner's perceived compatibility and the impact it has on their own sexual functioning. These findings reinforce the notion that the etiology of sexual concerns may lie not solely in the presenting individual, but in the level of functioning within the dyad. Moreover, although increasing the female partner perceptions of compatibility may be productive for overall sexual functioning in the intimate relationship, and appears to be more strongly linked to the depression and anxiety of both members of the couple, it is unclear whether the minimal effect of men's perceptions of compatibility in this context might have longer term implications for couples' sexual functioning. In particular, when both members of the couple are able to identify common needs and likes, it may be more likely that the long term sexual functioning of the relationship will be strengthened or sustained.

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Alia Offman and Kimberly Matheson

Department of Psychology

Carleton University

Ottawa, Ontario

Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Alia Offman Ph.D., Carleton University, Department of Psychology, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6. Email: aliaoffman@hotmail.com.
Table 1 Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Between the
Self-Reported Sexual Compatibility Functioning of Male and Female
Partners Within Couples

 Females
 Mean (SD) Compatibility Satisfaction

Mean (SD) 2.91(0.43) 3.30(0.93)
Males
Compatibility 3.03(0.37) .42 *** .47 ***
Satisfaction 3.34(0.86) .18 .56 ***
Depression 0.35(0.59) -.18 -.34 ***
Anxiety 0.52(0.59) -.04 -.27 *

 Depression Anxiety

Mean (SD) 0.41(0.65) 0.61(0.71)
Males
Compatibility -.38 *** -.27 *
Satisfaction -.45 *** -.26 *
Depression .28 * .15
Anxiety .23 .10

* p < .05, *** p < .001

Table 2 Hierarchical Regression Analysis Assessing
Whether Gender Moderated Relations Between
Own Compatibility Scores and Sexual
Functioning

 r [beta] [R.sup.2]
 change

Satisfaction
Gender -.06 -.06 .00
Own compatibility .61 *** .61 *** .37 ***
Gender-by-own compatibility .53 *** .19 .02

Depression
Gender .09 .09 .01
Own compatibility -.50 *** -.50 *** .25 ***
Gender-by-own compatibility -.49 *** -.26 * .03 *

Anxiety
Gender .13 .13 .02
Own compatibility -.37 -.37 *** .14 ***
Gender-by-own compatibility -.45 -.35 * .06 *

* p < .05; *** p < .001

Table 3 Hierarchical Regression Analysis Assessing
Whether Gender Moderated Relations Between
Partner Compatibility Scores and Sexual
Functioning

 r [beta] [R.sup.2]
 change
Satisfaction
Gender -.06 -.06 .00
Compatibility .44 ***
 Own compatibility .61 *** -.38 ***
 Partner compatibility .60 *** -.34 ***
Interactions .03 *
 Gender by own compatibility .53 *** .34 *
 Gender by partner compatibility .42 *** -.22

Depression
Gender -.09 .09 .01
Compatibility .33 ***
 Own compatibility -.50 *** -.26 *
 Partner compatibility -.54 *** -.37 ***
Interactions .07 *
 Gender by own compatibility -.49 *** -.51 ***
 Gender by partner compatibility -.35 *** .37 *

Anxiety
Gender .13 .13 .02
Compatibility .15 ***
 Own compatibility -.37 *** -.28 *
 Partner compatibility -.33 *** -.14
Interactions .10 ***
 Gender by own compatibility -.45 *** -.60 ***
 Gender by partner compatibility -.23 * .37 *

* p < .05; *** p < .001

Table 4 Regression Coefficients and Standardized
Regression Coefficients for Simple Slope
Analyses Assessing Gender Differences in the
Relations Between Own and Partner
Compatibility and Sexual Functioning

 r [beta]

Females
Depression
 Own compatibility -.64 *** -.64 ***
 Partner compatibility -.48 *** -.10
Anxiety
 Own compatibility -.55 *** -.55 ***
 Partner compatibility -.31 * .10

Males
Depression
 Own compatibility -.35 -.35 *
 Partner compatibility -.62 ** -.70 ***
Anxiety
 Own compatibility -.15 -.15
 Partner compatibility -.37 * -.49 *

* p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001
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Author:Offman, Alia; Matheson, Kimberly
Publication:The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
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Relationship satisfaction, sexual characteristics and the psychosocial well-being of women.
A theology of sexual pleasure.
Sexual functioning of women with HIV: a comparison with non-HIV women.
Factors associated with common sexual concerns in women: new findings from the Canadian contraception study.
The role of sexual functioning in the sexual desire adjustment and psychosocial adaptation of women with hypoactive sexual desire.
Difficulties with sexual functioning in a sample of male and female late adolescent and young adult university students.
Testosterone and sexual desire.

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