The mediating role of dissociation in the associations between women’s perceived partner’s responsiveness during sexual assault discussions and sexual pleasure

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Erin Anna van Gorkom (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
David de Jong

Abstract: Sexual assault negatively affects women’s mental, physical, and sexual health (Dworkin et al., 2017), but higher perceived social support is generally protective against these negative effects (Dworkin et al, 2019). Specifically, for women who have been through a sexual assault, dissociation during sex may interfere with their ability to attend to the erotic perceptions that give rise to sexual pleasure (Janssen et al., 2000). This preregistered study investigated whether women’s perceived partner responsiveness (PPR) during sexual assault discussions will predict less dissociation during sex, which in turn will predict greater sexual pleasure. Additionally, we investigated whether a women’s perceived partner responsiveness will be associated with less sexual dissociation more strongly if she has unhealthy emotion regulation or has experienced a sexual assault that is a betrayal trauma. 397 women in sexually active romantic relationships reported on perceived partner responsiveness during sexual assault discussions, emotion regulation, betrayal trauma, and sexual dissociation, pleasure, and satisfaction during the last month. Findings will provide insight into trauma recovery and better therapeutic techniques for sex and couples’ therapists.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
dissociation, perceived partner responsiveness, romantic partners, sexual assault, sexual function, sexual pleasure
Dissociative disorders
Sex (Psychology)
Sexual excitement
Intimacy (Psychology)
Rape trauma syndrome

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