Societal messages about mothers indicate an incompatibility between motherhood and sexuality and women report not feeling like sexual beings after transitioning into parenthood. Research shows that negative sexual attitudes are associated with worse sexual function, indicating that negative attitudes toward mothers as sexual beings may negatively impact the sexual health of mothers and their partners. However, there is no existing tool to measure sexual attitudes about mothers. The aim of this study was to develop a tool to measure attitudes toward mothers as sexual beings (ATMSB) and examine associations with sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and desire among men and women with small children. Men and women with their first child no older than 5 (N = 481) were recruited from Qualtrics Panels. Results indicated that the ATMSB scale is a reliable and valid 11-item tool for measuring attitudes about mothers as sexual beings. The scale has two subscales, one on sexuality and quality of mothering and another on mothers’ sexual interests and behaviors. ATMSB scores were associated with sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction and desire for men and women with young children. This scale has implications for sex research and clinical practice addressing issues that are relevant to mothers and their partners.
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© 2022 The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
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