Extant research connecting borderline personality disorder (BPD) to sexuality is sparse. The current study aimed to expand the limited body of research on borderline personality traits and human sexuality, and to shed light on the personality features that contribute specifically to sexual sensation seeking, sexual compulsivity, and sexual risk-taking behaviours. Undergraduate students (n = 955) completed an online questionnaire containing scales assessing BPD symptoms (affective instability, identity disturbance, negative relationships, and self-harm), sexual sensation seeking, sexual compulsivity, and sexual risk-taking. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted and revealed no significant gender X symptom interaction predictors. Results did indicate links between specific BPD symptoms and specific sexuality variables. Total sexual compulsivity and compulsive sexual control behaviours were positively predicted by all four BPD symptoms, whereas compulsive sexual violence was predicted by all symptoms except for identity disturbance. Sexual sensation seeking was positively predicted by negative relationships and self-harm. Sexual risk taking was not significantly predicted by any BPD symptoms. These findings improve our understanding of how individuals with borderline personality traits experience romantic and sexual relationships, and may inform the future development of therapeutic interventions.


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pp. 158-168
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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