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abstract

abstract

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Sexual function in a representative sample of Italian female university students

Silvaggi, M1; Di Santo, SG2; Fava, V3; Malandrino , C3; Colombo, M4; Artioli, C5; Melis, I6; Nanini, C7; Rossetto, C8; Simone, S9; Rossi, R10; Caruso, S11

1: Institute of Clinical Sexology, Italy; 2: University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Youth Committee, Italy ; 3: Obstetrics & gynecology, Research group for sexology, University of Catania, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Youth Committee, Italy ; 4: Association of High school of sexology of Turin (ASST), Turin, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Youth Committee, Italy ; 5: Italian Center of Sexology (CIS), Bologna, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Youth Committee, Italy ; 6: Interdisciplinary Centre for Research and Training in Sexology (CIRS), Genova, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Youth Committee, Italy; 7: Interdisciplinary Centre for Research and Training in Sexology (CIRS), Genova, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Youth Committee, Italy ; 8: Study Center for Affective and Sexual Disorders Treatment, Genova, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Youth Committee, Italy ; 9: Institute of Research and training (IRF), Florence, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Youth Committee, Italy ; 10: Institute of Clinical Sexology, Rome, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Italy; 11: Obstetrics & gynecology, Research group for sexology, University of Catania, Italy; FISS (Italian Federation of Scientific Sexology) Italy

Objectives: Recent research has shown that among Italian female university students (IFUS) three on four report had sexual intercourse. However, although, sexual well-being is more and more recognized as part of general health status, little is known about behaviors and relational factors affecting sexual function (SF) in this population. The aim of this study was to detect the presence of any association between socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle, sexual knowledge, sexual behaviors and SF in this population.

Material and Methods: In this multicentric study, after providing informed written consent, nine hundred and thirty-seven IFUS, aged between 19 and 26 years, attending the 2nd and 3rd year of humanistic, technical or medical faculties of Italian Universities was enrolled. At the end of their University lesson, participants completed an anonymous self-report questionnaire, composed by closed-ended and multiple choices items. The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) was used to assess their SF.

Results: Seven hundred and fifteen students successfully completed the FSFI, mean age was 22.06 ± 1.76 years and 87.4% of them reporting sexual activity in the previous 4 weeks obtained an average FSFI score of 26.88 ± 3.38 (range, 13-34 points). The 75.54% of participants live with their parents and 227 alone or with peers (partners, other students, roommates). Among sexually active IFUS, 46.7% resulted at risk of sexual dysfunction (FSFI < 26.55). Almost all of the sample was heterosexual; 23.8% had sexual intercourses with strangers, 10.6% had virtual sex experiences, 41.6% had sexual intercourse under the influence of alcohol and 13.5% under the influence of drugs. Pathological FSFI scores were positively associated with having casual partners (p<0.001). Assuming alcoholics once a week or less was associated with greater lubrication, but not with higher global mean FSFI scores, compared to teetotalism or more frequent consumption (p<0.05). Teetotalers reported significantly lower pain during sexual activity or intercourse (p<0.05) than alcohol consumers.

Conclusions: Despite their young age and the low prevalence of organic or chronic conditions almost half of our representative sample of IFUS reported impaired SF. Higher FSFI scores seemed to be associated with being in a steady relationship, while alcohol consumption had uneven effects on SF.

Disclosure:

Work supported by industry: no.

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