I've just had a look at the differences between people who had sex in the month before the study, and those who hadn't. I thought they might be interesting to some of you:
Women who had not had sex in the past four weeks had higher levels of all depression and anxiety symptoms, compared to the women who had engaged in intercourse in the past four weeks. They also felt more distressed about their sex lives, reported lower quality relationships with their partners, and less social support. Sexually, they reported lower levels of desire and less feelings of emotional sexual arousal around sexual activity (feeling excited or turned on).
There were no differences between women who had or hadn't had sex in the past four weeks in terms of stressful life events, their age, or how many children they had (or whether they had children at all). Sexually, the groups showed no differences in terms of their sensation of sexual arousal (pulsating, tingling or warmth), their vaginal lubrication, or their ability to orgasm. We could compare groups on these factors because some women had been sexually active without engaging in vaginal intercourse in the past four weeks.
Men who had not had sex in the past four weeks reported lower quality relationships with their partners, and lower levels of sexual satisfaction. Sexually, they reported lower levels of desire. Other than this, there were no difference between the groups of men who had and hadn't had sex.
These are some pretty interesting findings, don't you think? Why do you think women have so many more group differences, compared to men? I'd love to hear your thoughts.