Study: Women twice as likely as men to lack interest in sex

In Britain's third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, lacking interest in sex was the most common sexual difficulty reported by men and women.
By Amy Wallace  |  Sept. 14, 2017 at 11:29 AM
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Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A recent study of British sexual attitudes found that women are more than twice as likely as men to lack interest in sex while living with a partner.

The study, published Thursday in BMJ Open, of 6,669 women and 4,839 men age 16 to 74 found that women in long-term relationships lasting more than a year are more likely to report lack of interest in sex than women in relationships of one year or less.

Researchers analyzed findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, or Natsal-3, the largest scientific study of sexual health in Britain. It is conducted by the University College London, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and NatCen Social Research.

The study found 34 percent of women and 15 percent of men reported lacking interest in sex and that 62 percent of those women and 53 percent of those men reported being distressed by their lack of sexual interest.

Research showed that for women with a low interest in sex, having three or more partners in the past year, having children under the age of 5 in the household and not sharing the same sexual likes and dislikes as their partner led to a decrease in sexual interest.

Low sexual interest in men was caused by having a sexually transmitted disease in the past year, poor mental or physical health, lack of emotional closeness with their partner and experiencing sex against their will.

"Our findings show us the importance of the relational context in understanding low sexual interest in both men and women," Professor Cynthia Graham, of the Center for Sexual Health Research at the University of Southampton, said in a press release.

"For women in particular, the quality and length of relationship and communication with their partners are important in their experience of sexual interest. It highlights the need to assess and -- if necessary -- treat sexual interest problems in a holistic and relationship- as well as gender-specific way."

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