Archives of sexual behavior | 9 Jan 2013
JK McNulty and L Widman
There is theoretical reason to believe narcissism is associated with a number of sexual behaviors and outcomes that affect both sexual and relationship satisfaction. Nevertheless, research on the association between personality and behavior demonstrates that personality traits, such as narcissism, only predict behavior in domains that activate the components of the personality system. Given that global assessments of narcissism do not capture the extent to which the components of narcissism are activated in the sexual domain, we examined the extent to which the facets of a domain-specific measure of sexual narcissism accounted for the trajectories of own and partner sexual and marital satisfaction over the first five years of 120 new marriages. Three of the four facets of sexual narcissism (sexual exploitation, sexual entitlement, and low sexual empathy) were negatively associated with both trajectories. The fourth facet (sexual skill) was positively associated with both trajectories. Notably, sexual satisfaction mediated the effect of every facet of sexual narcissism on marital satisfaction. A global assessment of narcissism was not associated with either trajectory of satisfaction. These findings highlight (1) the importance of narcissistic tendencies for sexual processes, (2) the benefits of using domain-specific measures of personality in research on sexual behavior, and (3) the importance of examining the implications of the specific facets of personality constructs.
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