Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa Baker

Third Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Fourth Advisor

Dr. M. Michele Burnette


A multiple baseline design across subjects was used to evaluate the effects of an 8-week aerobic walking program on sexual desire in 7 previously sedentary married women who met the DSM-III-R criteria for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). Sexual desire was assessed on a weekly basis through a 6 to 9-week baseline period and the 8-week walking intervention using the Self-Acceptance and Mate- Acceptance subscales of the Sexual Interaction Inventory (SII) (LoPiccolo & Steger, 1974), the Sexual Activity Form, developed for this study to measure the frequency of female sexual initiation and responsivity, a behavioral counter and the Sexual Thoughts Matrix Form to assess the frequency of sexual thoughts. Mild improvement in scores on the SII was seen for all female subjects. An increase in average frequency of female responsivity to sexual advances from a baseline level of once every 4 weeks to a treatment frequency of once every 3 weeks was shown, although the average frequency for female sexual initiation remained unchanged at once every 5 weeks. The frequency of sexual thoughts pre- and post-intervention also remained relatively unchanged, although the frequency of positive sexual thoughts increased from 47% to 69%, with a corresponding decrease in the frequency of negative sexual thoughts from 26% to .09%. Results suggest that aerobic exercise may produce mild improvements in sexual desire in some women diagnosed with HSDD.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons