Associations Between Attempts at Physical Intimacy and Relational Outcomes Among Cohabiting and Married Couples
Couples, marriage, physical intimacy, sexual coercion, sexual frequency, sexuality
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.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Leavitt, Chelom Eastwood and Willoughby, Brian J., "Associations Between Attempts at Physical Intimacy and Relational Outcomes Among Cohabiting and Married Couples" (2014). Faculty Publications. 2998.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
© The Author(s) 2014