How are mood, stress and our sex lives related?

September 16, 2011

You’re feeling down or chronically stressed. Is your sex life suffering the consequences? Low mood, stress and our (waning) sex lives often are closely related, right? Maybe not for men; recent research has found that depression and anxiety symptoms may only be related to sexual difficulties for women. These intriguing results have sparked the interest of researchers at Macquarie University, who are now trying to get to the bottom of these complex and under-researched relationships.

Their new study hopes to get between the sheets with thousands of
Australian men and women to find out exactly what the relationships are
between low mood, stress, and sexual problems: “We will look at the
levels of these everyday difficulties in the general population, and we
can then apply what we learn from this research to new treatment
programs for depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunctions. The key
questions we’re interested in are: How are these disorders related over
time? Does one type of disorder cause another, or are they related at a
deeper level?” says Miriam Forbes, lead researcher in the study.

Understanding the direction of the relationships will mean that GPs and
Psychologists will be able to more accurately screen for these
disorders, and hopefully catch them before they become a severe problem,
which will help minimise the negative impact on sufferers’ quality of

If you decide to participate in this online study, you will be asked to
answer some questions about negative emotions and some aspects of sexual
function at six separate time points – either once a week for six
weeks, or once a month for six months. Other than the sense of
fulfillment and self-satisfaction you’ll get out of helping with a
research study like this, there’s also a $100 Cash Card up for grabs at
every time point!

Get involved, and help understand this under-researched problem. Go to for more information.

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