Cognitive orientation and sexual dysfunctions in women

Shulamith Kreitler, Hans Kreftler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study's purpose was to explore the cognitive content correlates of sexual dysfunctions in young women. The study was done in the framework of the cognitive orientation theory (Kreitler & Kreitler) which describes how cognition guides behavior. Regularity of engaging in sexual intercourse and other measures of sexual dysfunction including frequency and intensity of sexual desire, orgasm, coital pain, coital spasms, vaginal dryness, and anxiety about intercourse were examined. The participants were 241 women. Their mean age was 22.1 years. They were administered anonymously in small groups questionnaires about background information, sexual adjustment, and cognitive orientation, which assessed their support for beliefs of four types (goals, norms, about self, and general) referring to themes related by meaning to sexual dysfunctions. Discriminant and multiple regression analyses showed that the belief types provided significant predictions of the occurrence of the symptoms, their frequency and their intensity. The implications of the results in regard to the nature of sexual dysfunctions and the integration of different theoretical approaches are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-104
Number of pages30
JournalSexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990


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