Background: Nowadays, it is believed that mental and emotional aspects of sexual well-being are the important aspects of sexual health. Sexual self-concept is a major component of sexual health and the core of sexuality. It is defined as the cognitive perspective concerning the sexual aspects of ‘self’ and refers to the individual’s self-perception as a sexual creature.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the different factors affecting sexual self-concept. 

Methods: English electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar as well as two Iranian databases including Scientific Information Database and Iranmedex were searched for English and Persian-language articles published between 1996 and 2016. Of 281 retrieved articles, 37 articles were finally included for writing this review article.

Results: Factors affecting sexual self-concept were categorized to biological, psychological and social factors. In the category of biological factors, age gender, marital status, race, disability and sexual transmitted infections are described. In the psychological category, the impact of body image, sexual abuse in childhood and mental health history are present. Lastly, in the social category, the roles of parents, peers and the media are discussed. 

Conclusion: As the development of sexual self-concept is influenced by multiple events in individuals' lives, to promotion of sexual self-concept, an integrated implementation of health policies is recommended.


Keywords: Sexual self-concept, Sexual self-perception, Systematic review
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