The Influence of Personality and Coping on Female Sexual Function: A Population Survey

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Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a common disorder with limited data investigating relationships with psychological influences, such as personality traits and coping mechanisms.


To investigate the relationship and impact of personality traits and coping strategies on female sexual function.


A web-based survey was distributed to a sample of women representative of the area's demographic distribution.

Main Outcome Measures.

Participants completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), the Ten Item Personality Index (TIPI), and the Brief COPE.


Five hundred twenty-six females responded. The mean total FSFI score was 24.56 (SD 6.77) with lowest scores in the desire domain. Personality scores were similar to published normative values. Subjects displaying stronger tendencies for introversion (r = 0.246, P < 0.001), not being open to new experiences (r = 0.159, P = 0.008), and emotional instability (r = 0.244, P < 0.001) were found to have significantly worse sexual function. Conscientiousness was significantly associated with better desire, orgasm, satisfaction, and total FSFI score (P = 0.029, P = 0.002, P = 0.005, P = 0.003). Moreover, the utilization of negative coping strategies such as self-blame, self-distraction, and behavioral disengagement, significantly correlated with poor sexual function (r = −0.298, P < 0.001, r = −0.360, P < 0.001, r = −0.398, P < 0.001, respectively).


Personality and coping are linked to sexual function with introversion, not being open to new experiences, emotional instability, and the utilization of negative coping strategies being significantly associated with poor sexual function. Women presenting with sexual function complaints may need further evaluation of their personality and coping strategies in order to mitigate any negative impact of these tendencies. Crisp C, Vaccaro C, Fellner A, Kleeman S, and Pauls R. The influence of personality and coping on female sexual function: A population survey. J Sex Med 2015;12:109–115.

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