The five-factor model of personality and sexual functioning in outpatient men and women.

P. T. Costa, P. J. Fagan, R. L. Piedmont, Y. Ponticas, T. N. Wise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


454 adults seeking evaluation at a sexual behaviors consultation clinic were evaluated for the major dimensions of personality as measured by the NEO Personality Inventory and various aspects of sexual attitudes and experiences via the Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory. The results showed that elevated Neuroticism was correlated with dysphoric symptoms, negative body image and lowered satisfaction. More extraverted individuals reported increased drive, more sexual experience, positive body image, and more positive affects. Agreeableness was unrelated to sexual drive and satisfaction but was negatively related to symptomatology. Openness was positively associated with amount of Information, range of sexual experiences, liberal attitudes toward sex, sexual drive and fantasy and appears to broadly impact upon sexual functioning. The more conscientious subjects had lowered sexual drive, but fewer dysphoric symptoms and a better body image. Women showed a similar pattern of personality correlates with the exception that personality was unrelated to females' sexual experiences and sexual satisfaction. The present findings support and expand previous research and contribute to our understanding of how personality dispositions influence the experience and expression of sexual functioning in male and female clinical samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-215
Number of pages17
JournalPsychiatric medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

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