The Relevance of the SESII-W/M in Establishing a Relationship between Sexual Difficulties and Sexual Excitation/Inhibition

Victoria Paul, Ana Carvalheira


Aims: The main purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between sexual difficulties and factors of sexual arousal, excitement, and sexual inhibition among men and women. Method: A total of 1,878 participants, of whom 983 were men (52%) and 895 were women (48%), with a mean age of 35.9 years (SD = 11.9; range = 18-79), were recruited online. The study’s instruments included a socio-demographic questionnaire, a questionnaire about sexual difficulties, and the Sexual Excitation/Sexual Inhibition Inventory for Women and Men (SESII-W/M). Results: Women with and without sexual difficulties differed significantly on all subscales of the SESII-W/M. Men with sexual difficulties scored significantly higher in the dimensions of Inhibitory Cognitions and the Dyadic Elements of the Sexual Interaction than men without difficulties. Inhibitory Cognitions was the strongest predictor of sexual difficulties for both men and women. Relationship Importance was also a strong predictor of sexual difficulties in women. Conclusions: Sexual inhibition serves as a predictor of sexual difficulties. The SESII-W/M seems to work better in determining the factors of sexual inhibition as predictors of sexual difficulties among women, than in identifying causes of sexual difficulties among men.


sexual difficulties; sexual arousal; sexual excitation; sexual inhibition