There has long been a proposed clinical link between sexuality and eating disorders; however, little empirical evidence exists regarding this relationship. The limited body of research on sexuality in eating disorders supports the occurrence of considerable sexual concerns. The aim of the present study was to expand on the dearth of empirical literature exploring altered sexuality in relation to disordered eating. This research examines disordered eating in relation to sexual insecurities. Undergraduate female UBC students (n = 789) completed a series of online questionnaires assessing sexual insecurities and eating habits. Several domains of sexual insecurities were associated with disordered eating symptom severity. Mean differences in sexual self-efficacy, as well as body- and performance-based cognitive distractions during sexual activity emerged among women categorized as being at elevated, typical, or low eating disorder risk, with those at greater risk reporting greater sexual difficulties. Sexuality is rarely considered in the context of eating disorder treatment unless a history of sexual abuse is present. The results of this study suggest that sexual insecurities should be addressed during eating disorder care.


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pp. 138-147
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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