Date of Award

Spring 3-12-2021

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

School

Psychology

Committee Chair

Lucas A. Keefer

Committee Chair School

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Donald Sacco

Committee Member 2 School

Psychology

Abstract

The study tested the effects of sexual surrogacy, which I define as the desire to fulfill sexual needs with a surrogate target (e.g., celebrity crushes), on sexual satisfaction, relationship, happiness, and well-being. To examine this topic, I conducted a cross-sectional experimental study. After being asked about sexual desire toward either their current partner or a celebrity crush with a sexual desire behavior inventory, participants were asked to answer questions about their sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, happiness, and well-being. I predicted that desire toward both surrogates and interpersonal targets will predict higher levels of sexual satisfaction, happiness, and well-being but that these associations would be weaker for the surrogate group. We found that sexual desire toward a parasocial target showed comparable associations with well-being compared to the partner group, but that some differences were observed in the effects of relationship satisfaction toward each target.

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