The Relationship of Sexual Function and Sexual Self-Esteem among the Women of Reproductive Age Based on Body Mass Index

Document Type : Original Article (s)


1 MSc Student, Department of Psychology, School of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, School of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Sexual health is a critical component of couples’ health and general health. Body mass index (BMI) is known to influence sexual function, self-efficacy, and sexual performance. This study aimed to assess the relationship of sexual function and sexual self-esteem among the women of reproductive age based on body mass index.Methods: In a cross-sectional study in Isfahan City, Iran, 192 married women aged between 18 and 50 years were enrolled as a convenient sample. Data were gathered using meter, digital scale, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and Anne Hooper's Sexual Self-Esteem questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS software.Findings: Differences in average desire, arousal, and orgasm scores among the underweight, normal body mass index, and obese individuals were significant (P < 0.05 for all). However, with respect to lubrication, satisfaction, and pain, the differences were not significant. Underweight females had a lower average on desire, arousal, and orgasm while having the highest pain average score (P < 0.05). The three groups showed no significant differences in terms of sexual self-esteem.Conclusion: The results showed that body mass index is not the only effective factor on sexual function, sexual self efficacy, and sexual self-esteem in women; intra-psychological, interpersonal, and socio-cultural factors should to be considered as important mediatings, too.


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