Correlated genetic and non-shared environmental influences account for the co-morbidity between female sexual dysfunctions

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Witting K, Santtila P, Rijsdijk F, Varjonen M, Jern P, Johansson A, von der Pahlen B, Alanko K, Sandnabba NK
Publication year: 2009
Journal: Psychological Medicine
Journal acronym: Psychol Med
Volume number: 39
Issue number: 1
Start page: 115
End page: 127
ISSN: 0033-2917


BACKGROUND Previous studies have shown moderate heritability for female orgasm. So far, however, no study has addressed the pattern of genetic and environmental influences on diverse sexual dysfunctions in women, nor how genetic and environmental factors contribute to the associations between them.
METHOD The sample was drawn from the Genetics of Sex and Aggression (GSA) sample and consisted of 6, 446 female twins (aged 18-43 years) and 1994 female siblings (aged 18-49 years). The participants responded to the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), either by post or online.
RESULTS Model fitting analyses indicated that individual differences on all six subdomains of the FSFI (desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain) were primarily due to non-shared (individual-specific) environmental influences. Genetic influences were modest but significant, whereas shared environmental influences were not significant. A correlated factors model including additive and non-additive genetic and non-shared environmental effects proved to have the best fit and suggested that both correlated additive and non-additive genetic factors and unique environmental factors underlie the co-occurrence of the sexual function problems.
CONCLUSIONS The findings suggest that female sexual dysfunctions are separate entities with some shared aetiology. They also indicate that there is a genetic susceptibility for sexual dysfunctions. The unique experiences of each individual are, however, the main factors determining if, and which, dysfunction develops.

Last updated on 2019-13-11 at 05:39