Title

Associations Between Attempts at Physical Intimacy and Relational Outcomes Among Cohabiting and Married Couples

Keywords

Couples, marriage, physical intimacy, sexual coercion, sexual frequency, sexuality

Abstract

Attempting to initiate physical intimacy with a partner has traditionally been explored through the lens of sexual pressure and coercion and linked to negative couple outcomes. The present study utilized a sample of 397 male/female couples in committed relationships (married and cohabiting) to explore more generally how attempts at sexual intimacy were associated with varying relational outcomes. Results suggested that unlike previously established associations with sexual coercion, more generalized attempts at physical intimacy were associated with better relationship outcomes, including more relationship satisfaction, better couple communication, and less couple conflict. Gender moderated the results in that men’s attempts at intimacy were particularly associated with positive relational outcomes. The implications of considering attempts for physical intimacy as a positive aspect of couple sexuality are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Leavitt, C. E., & Willoughby, B. J. (2015). Associations between attempts at physical intimacy and relational outcomes among cohabiting and married couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32, 241-262.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2014-04-04

Publisher

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

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