Reasons for Measuring Sexual Behavior

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Sexual expression is a fundamental aspect of human relationships. While most research has focused on the problems, risks, and dangers of sex, there are a number of physiological and psychological benefits of sexual expression (Whipple, 2006). For example, frequent sexual activity increases fertility (Cutler et al, 1985), the probability of conception (Wilcox et al, 1995), and improves sexual functioning and satisfaction (Laumann et al, 2006; Parish et al, 2007). Benefits aside, consequences related to sexual activity (e.g., sexual coercion, HIV) may threaten an individual's ability to have satisfying sexual experiences. Accurate, reliable, and valid self-reports of sexual behavior provide essential information to assist researchers and interventionists in developing efficacious programs to improve sexual health.

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