The presence of and/or search for meaning has divergent and salient outcomes for individualsâ€™ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Although numerous domains of meaning have been examined, the literature on the meaning of sex is sparse and lacks a quantitative measure. In this study, I aimed to validate a general Meaning of Sex (MOS) Measure that captured the presence of (MOS-P) and search for (MOS-S) the meaning of sex that predicted salient relational and sexual outcomes (i.e., relationship stability and satisfaction and sexual satisfaction). The MOS measure was based off of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) created by Steger and colleagues (2006), which also used the subscales of presence and searching. All participants (N = 856) reported engaging in what they considered to be sexual intercourse and were either single or in a relationship. The two subscales were distinct from one another and had good reliability. The MOS-S had a stronger (and negative) association with relationship stability and sexual satisfaction than the MOS-P. Further analyses revealed that there were significant interactions between the MOS-P and MOS-S. When individuals scored high on the MOS-P, searching for a meaning of sex no longer had a significant association with relationship stability or sexual satisfaction. Creating this measure is meaningful because it provides a more holistic picture of sexuality that has not been addressed in the literature.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hanna-Walker, Veronica R., "Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Creating a General Meaning of Sex Measure" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 9022.
meaning of sex, sexual motivations, romantic relationships