Saturday, January 22, 2011

Women, the Big Five, and feeling sexual pleasure

MIDUS respondents were asked how often they feel pleasure during sex. Focusing on the women, I wondered if pleasure varied with the Big 5 personality traits.  Here are the standardized OLS regression coefficients (sample size = 1,454):

OLS regression coefficients (standardized)

Age -.17*
Physical health .01
Emotional/mental health .07*
Extraversion .07*
Negative emotionality -.05*
Agreeableness .04
Conscientiousness .01
Openness to experience .13*

I included three controls: women enjoy sex less as they age; physical health is unrelated, but those with good mental health get more pleasure from it.

Of the Big Five, three predict sexual pleasure. Women who are more extraverted, more open to experience, and slower to experience negative emotions get more out of sex.  Agreeableness and conscientiousness, on the other hand, make no difference. Openness (after age) is the best predictor.

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