Little is known about sexual dysfunctions comorbid with anxiety disorder. The aim of this study is to evaluate retrospectively the sexual function of social phobic patients in comparison with a panic disorder sample. Using a semistructured interview (SCID-I), 30 patients with social phobia and 28 patients with panic disorder were examined. The DSM-IV criteria were employed to diagnose sexual dysfunctions in this sample; however, the “C” criterion, which states that “the sexual dysfunction cannot be related to other Axis I disorders,” was excluded. Panic disorder patients reported a significantly greater proportion of sexual disorders compared with social phobics: 75% (21/28) vs. 33.3% (10/30) (p = .0034). Sexual aversion disorder was the most common sexual dysfunction in both male (35.7%; 5/14) and female (50%; 7/14) panic disorder patients, and premature ejaculation was the most common sexual dysfunction in male social phobic patients: 47.4% (9/19). These results suggest that sexual dysfunctions are frequent and neglected complications of social phobia and panic disorder.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC.
Balon, R. (1996). Antidepressants in the treatment of premature ejaculation. J. Sex Marital Ther. 22: 85-96.
Cooper, A. J. (1969). A clinical study of “coital anxiety” in male potency disorder. J. Psychosom. Res. 13: 143-147.
First, M. B., Spitzer, R. L., Gibbon, M., and Williams, J. B. W. (1995). Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders-Patient Edition, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York.
Gorman, J. M., and Kent, J. M. (1999). SSRIs and SNRIs: Broad spectrum of efficacy beyond major depression. J. Clin. Psychiatry 60 (Suppl. 4): 33-38.
Kaplan, H. S. (1987). Sexual Aversion, Sexual Phobias, and Panic Disorder, Brunner / Mazel, NewYork.
Kaplan, H. S. (1988). Anxiety and sexual dysfunction. J. Clin. Psychiatry 49 (Suppl.): 21-25.
Kaplan, H. S., Fyer, A. J., and Novick, A. (1982). The treatment of sexual phobias: The combined use of antipanic medication and sex therapy. J. Sex Marital Ther. 8: 3-28.
Kindler, S., Dolberg, O. T., Cohen, H., Hirschmann, S., and Kotler, M. (1997). The treatment of comorbid premature ejaculation and panic disorder with fluoxetine. Clin. Neuropharmacol. 20: 466-471.
Labbate, L. A., Grimes, J., Hines, A., Oleshansky, M. A., and Arana, G. W. (1998). Sexual dysfunction induced by serotonin reuptake antidepressants. J. Sex Marital Ther. 24: 3-12.
Laumann, E. O., Paik, A., and Rosen, R. C. (1999). Sexual dysfunction in the United States: Prevalence and predictors. JAMA 281: 537-544.
Leary, M. R., and Dobbins, S. E. (1983). Social anxiety, sexual behavior, and contraceptive use. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 45: 1347-1354.
Liebowitz, M. R. (1999). Update on the diagnosis and treatment of social anxiety disorder. J. Clin. Psychiatry 60 (Suppl. 18): 22-26.
Rachman, S. (1961). Sexual disorders and behavior therapy. Am. J. Psychiatry 118: 235.
Read, S., King, M., and Watson, J. (1997). Sexual dysfunction in primary medical care: Prevalence, characteristics and detection by the general practitioner. J. Public Health Med. 4: 387-391.
Redmond, D. E., Jr., Kosten, T. R., and Reiser, M. F. (1983). Spontaneous ejaculation associated with anxiety: Psychophysiological considerations. Am. J. Psychiatry 140: 1163-1166.
Sbrocco, T., Weisberg, R. B., Barlow, D. H., and Carter, M. M. (1997). The conceptual relationship between panic disorder and male erectile dysfunction. J. Sex Marital Ther. 23: 212-220.
Stekel, W. (1927). Impotence in the Male, Liveright, New York.
Sterba, R. (1942). Introduction to the psychoanalytic theory of the libido. Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph Series 68: 56.
Vroege, J. A., Gijs, L., and Hengeveld, M. W. (1998). Classification of sexual dysfunctions: Towards DSM-V and ICD-11. Compr. Psychiatry 39: 333-337.
Waldinger, M. D., and Olivier, B. (1998). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-induced sexual dysfunction: Clinical and research considerations. Int. Clin. Psychopharmacol 13 (Suppl. 6): S27-S33.
Wolpe, J. (1958). Psychotherapy by Reciprocal Inhibition, Stanford University Press, Stanford.
About this article
Cite this article
Figueira, I., Possidente, E., Marques, C. et al. Sexual Dysfunction: A Neglected Complication of Panic Disorder and Social Phobia. Arch Sex Behav 30, 369–377 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010257214859
- sexual dysfunctions
- phobic disorders
- panic disorder
- anxiety disorders