Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 159–173 | Cite as

Men with Sexual Problems and Their Partners: Findings from the International Survey of Relationships

  • Raymond C. Rosen
  • Julia R. Heiman
  • J. Scott Long
  • William A. Fisher
  • Michael S. Sand
Original Paper


Epidemiologic studies of sexual function problems in men have focused on the individual male and related sociodemographic characteristics, individual risk factors and lifestyle concomitants, or medical comorbidities. Insufficient attention has been given to the role of sexual and relationship satisfaction and, more particularly, to the perspective of the couple as causes or correlates of sexual problems in men or women. Previously, we reported results of the first large, multi-national study of sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness in 1,009 midlife and older couples in five countries (Brazil, Germany, Japan, Spain, U.S.). For the present study, we examined, within each problem, the association of four major sexual problems in men (loss of sexual desire, erectile problems, premature ejaculation, delayed/absent orgasm) and multiple problems, with male and female partners’ assessments of physical intimacy, sexual satisfaction, and relationship happiness, as well as associations with well-known health and psychosocial correlates of sexual problems in men. Sexual problem rates of men in our survey were generally similar to rates observed in past surveys in the general population, and similar risk factors (age, relationship duration, overall health) were associated with lack of desire, anorgasmia, or erection difficulties in our sample. As in previous surveys, there were few correlates of premature ejaculation. As predicted, men with one or more sexual problems reported decreased relationship happiness as well as decreased sexual satisfaction compared to men without sexual problems. Moreover, female partners of men with sexual problems had reduced relationship happiness and sexual satisfaction, although these latter outcomes were less affected in the women than the men. The association of men’s sexual problems with men’s and women’s satisfaction and relationship happiness were modest, as these couples in long-term, committed relationships were notable for their relatively high levels of physical affection and relationship happiness.


Sexual dysfunction Erectile dysfunction Sexual desire Sexual distress DSM-5 



This study was supported by an independent investigator-initiated Grant from Bayer-Schering Inc. Sampling and data collection fieldwork were performed by Synovate Healthcare, Inc., The design, conceptualization, analysis, and interpretation of the results are the sole product of discussions among the co-authors, represent the consensus of the co-authors, and have not been subject to editorial revision by Bayer-Schering, Inc.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond C. Rosen
    • 1
  • Julia R. Heiman
    • 2
  • J. Scott Long
    • 3
  • William A. Fisher
    • 4
  • Michael S. Sand
    • 1
  1. 1.New England Research Institutes, Inc.WatertownUSA
  2. 2.The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, and Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Departments of Sociology and StatisticsIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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