Diabetes and female sexuality: A comparative study of women in relationships

Patricia Schreiner-Engel, Raul C. Schiavi, Daniela Vietonsz, Joanne De Simone Eichel, Harry Smith

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25 Scopus citations


Limited information is available about the effect of diabetes on female sexuality. Fifty diabetic women were compared to 50 matched controls on cognitive, psychological, interpersonal and sexual dimensions. Although the pattern of response was similar, the diabetic women scored consistently lower than controls on the Derogatis Sexual Function Inventory and the Locke- Wallace Marriage Inventory. The cumulative effect of these small differences resulted in a significantly more deficient global level of psychosex- ual functioning and less satisfaction with their relationship. In contrast, the diabetic women had relatively little impairment in their sexual responses. Sexual desire, however, was significantly lower. Although a decrease in lubrication was reported, its adequacy for coitus was not perceived differently by the two groups. Further research should clarify the contribution of demographic variables as well as clinical characteristics, such as type of diabetes, on observed differences in the sexuality of female diabetics and controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1985


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