Erectile and Ejaculatory Problems in Gay and Heterosexual Men
- Cite this article as:
- Bancroft, J., Carnes, L., Janssen, E. et al. Arch Sex Behav (2005) 34: 285. doi:10.1007/s10508-005-3117-7
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The prevalence of erectile difficulties (ED) and problems with rapid ejaculation (RE) were studied in a convenience sample of gay men (n = 1379) and an age-matched sample of heterosexual men (n = 1558). ED was reported more frequently by gay men and RE more frequently by heterosexual men. The heterosexual men were more likely to be in exclusive relationships and those in a current relationship (exclusive or non-exclusive) were more likely to report ED than those not in a relationship. Heterosexual men in an exclusive relationship were more likely to report RE than the rest. These associations were not found in the gay sample. The following personality traits were assessed as possible predictors of ED and RE: sexual inhibition proneness (SIS1 and SIS2), sexual excitation proneness, impact of mood on sexuality, and trait measures of depression and anxiety. Age and SIS1 (inhibition due to threat of performance failure) were strong predictors of ED in both gay and heterosexual men. Gay men scored higher on SIS1 whether or not they reported ED, consistent with greater concerns about performance failure in gay men. Anxiety was predictive of RE, but only in the heterosexual men. If replicated in other samples, these differences may reflect a greater importance of erectile function in the sexual lives of gay men and greater importance of ejaculatory control in heterosexual relationships.