Sexual desire is increasingly understood to be multifaceted and not solely erotically oriented, but measures are still generally unitary and eroticism-focused. Our goals in this article were to explore the multifaceted nature of sexual desire and develop a measure to do so, and to determine how multifaceted sexual desire might be related to gender/sex and sexual orientation/identity. In the development phase, we generated items to form the 65-item Sexual Desire Questionnaire (DESQ). Next, the DESQ was administered to 609 women, 705 men, and 39 non-binary identified participants. Results showed that the DESQ demonstrated high reliability and validity, and that sexual desire was neither unitary nor entirely erotic, but instead was remarkably multifaceted. We also found that multifaceted sexual desire was in part related to social location variables such as gender/sex and sexual orientation/identity. We propose the DESQ as a measure of multifaceted sexual desire that can be used to compare factor themes, total scores, and scores across individual items in diverse groups that take social context into account. Results are discussed in light of how social location variables should be considered when making generalizations about sexual desire, and how conceptualizations of desire as multifaceted may provide important insights.
Archives of Sexual Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 9, 2017
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