A cross-national study of subjective sexual well-being among older women and men: Findings from the global study of sexual attitudes and behaviors

Edward O. Laumann, Anthony Paik, Dale B. Glasser, Jeong Han Kang, Tianfu Wang, Bernard Levinson, Edson D. Moreira, Alfredo Nicolosi, Clive Gingell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

375 Citations (Scopus)


Subjective sexual well-being refers to the cognitive and emotional evaluation of an individual's sexuality. This study examined subjective sexual well-being, explored its various aspects, examined predictors across different cultures, and investigated its possible associations with overall happiness and selected correlates, including sexual dysfunction. Data were drawn from the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors, a survey of 27,500 men and women aged 40-80 years in 29 countries. The cross-national variation of four aspects of sexual well-being (the emotional and physical satisfaction of sexual relationships, satisfaction with sexual health or function, and the importance of sex in one's life) was explored using cluster analysis, and relationships among sexual well-being, general happiness, and various correlates were examined using ordinary least squares regression and ordered logistic regression. Results from the cluster analysis identified three clusters: a gender-equal regime and two male-centered regimes. Despite this cultural variation, the predictors of subjective sexual well-being were found to be largely consistent across world regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-161
Number of pages17
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors (GSSAB) was funded by Pfizer Inc. As independent consultants charged with directing the design, analysis, and interpretation of the collected data, a scientific advisory board was assembled to include researchers and practitioners whose primary institutional affiliations are with universities or government research institutes or in public or private practice. The analysis and interpretation of the results are the sole product of discussions among the co-authors, represent the consensus of the co-authors, and have not been subject to editorial revision by Pfizer Inc. The authors acknowledge the contribution of their colleagues on the international advisory board for this study: Gerald Brock (Canada), Jacques Buvat (France), Uwe Hartmann (Germany), Sae-Chul Kim (Korea), Rosie King (Australia), Ken Marumo (Japan), Ferruh Simsek (Turkey).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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