Self-Efficacy as a Relevant Construct in Understanding Sexual Response and Dysfunction

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While self-efficacy has been widely used to explain and treat various biobehavioral responses, few investigations have examined this concept in the context of sexual response and dysfunction. In this study, the authors constructed a measure of sexual self-efficacy, investigated whether it differentiated men with and without sexual dysfunction, and determined the utility of this construct by exploring its relation to other variables known to be related to erectile dysfunction in a sample of 60 men with erectile dysfunction and 14 functional men visiting a urology clinic. The sexual self-efficacy index differentiated men with and without erectile dysfunction, and general linear modeling showed that the index did indeed relate to other variables known to affect sexual and emotional response during a partnered sexual experience. These findings suggest that, as a unifying construct that predicts cognitive, affective, motivational, and behavioral responses, sexual self-efficacy has the potential to play an important role in the assessment of effective treatments for sexual problems.