Masculine sexual performance beliefs are positively associated with the prevalence of erectile dysfunctions
ESC Congress Library. Komlenac (m) N. 05/10/18; 208225; ESC14
Mr. Nikola Komlenac (m)
Mr. Nikola Komlenac (m)
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Objective: Traditional masculine norms are defined in part by specific sexual behaviors of men. Accordingly, men are expected to have high sexual desire, be able to achieve a rigid erection, be able to achieve ejaculation in a defined time frame or to have frequent sexual encounters. Men who belief that they have to 'perform' sexually according to these masculine gender role norms may be more negatively affected by sexual problems than men, who are less inclined to agree with such beliefs. Design and methods: A structured interview was conducted with 127 male patients of a medical university hospital in Austria. Participants' mean age was 58.9 (SD = 14.5) years. Patients were asked about the presence and experienced burden of diminished sexual desire, pain during sexual activity, erectile difficulties, premature ejaculation and diminished intensity of orgasmic sensations. Sexual dysfunctions were defined as sexual difficulties which were experienced as burden. The Sexual Performance Beliefs Scale (SPBS) was used to assess whether men belief in traditional masculine gender role norms concerning sexual 'performance' of men. For each sexual dysfunction a stepwise logistic regression model was calculated. Age, nationality and level of formal education were entered in the first step whereby the variables of SPBS were conditionally entered in the second step. Results: 19.7% of men reported about at least one sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunctions (10.2%) were most prevalent, followed by low desire (7.9%), premature ejaculation (3.9%), diminished intensity of orgasmic sensations (3.9%) and pain during sexual activity (0.8%). A significant regression model for predicting erectile dysfunctions could be obtained (χ2(4) = 9.8, p = .045). The SPBS was positively related to the prevalence of erectile dysfunctions (OR = 2.0, 95%CI = 1.1 - 3.6). Conclusions: Men who belief that they have to 'perform' according to traditional masculine gender role norms during partnered sexual interactions may be more distressed by not being able to achieve rigid erections during sexual activity than men who do not hold such beliefs. These men may be focused on the imperative of an erect penis during sexual activity and may discount other sexual activities as unfulfilling. Health care providers should be aware of their own and their patients' assumption about sexuality which are based on masculinity. Health care providers should discuss with men alternative sexual activities which can be fulfilling but that deviate from traditional masculine scripts of sexuality.
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