Counseling Department


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


David Lawson

Primary Subject Area

Education, Guidance and Counseling; Gender Studies; Health Sciences, Mental Health; Religion, General


This study hypothesized that there is a relationship between religious orientation (conservative, moderate, or liberal) and the occurrence of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) among Christian women. The participants of this study were 71 married Christian women who were patients from a Christian obstetrical! gynecological medical practice in southern Georgia and who volunteered for an anonymous survey. The survey instruments used in this study included the Sexual Self-Assessment Questionnaire, the Female Sexual Function Index, and the Christian Religious Orientation Scale. Demographic information was also gathered on each participant.

Results showed that all of the women had a conservative orientation and that 59.2% of these women met the diagnostic criterion for HSDD. The rate of HSDD among conservative Christian women was noticeably higher than the occurrence of HSDD among the general female population of 33.3%. Since there were no participants identified as moderate or liberal in the sample, the participants' religious orientation scores were not significantly related to the presence of HSDD. However, there were significant correlations found between some of the sexuality variables and some of the theological opinion variables. While the sample size is small for regression, regression models were run in an attempt to explore the available data further. The exploratory backward elimination regression model technique was used to identify which combination of independent variables serves as the best predictors for each of the sexuality variables: (a) level of sexual desire/interest, (b) frequency of sexual desire/interest, (c) sexual energy, and (d) presence of HSDD. Since the treatment of HSDD is complex and must be individualized, a diagnosis and treatment matrix was also developed as a part of this study. It is hoped that the identification of some of the specific religious attitudes and demographic factors that are associated with the presence of HSDD will enable clinicians to have a better understanding of the factors involved in the etiology and subsequent treatment of this increasing sexual problem.