Epidemiology

The best and most current study regarding the prevalence of sexual dysfunction was performed by Laumann et alSW who studied a random probability sample of 3442 American individuals aged between 18 and 59 years. Summarizing the findings among the female participants, 33 per cent reported a lack of interest in sex, 17 per cent had difficulty with arousal, 24 per cent were unable to reach orgasm, 21 per cent said that sex was not pleasurable, and 14 per cent complained of pain with coitus. Among the male participants 16 per cent reported a lack of sexual interest, 10 per cent identified erectile difficulties, 29 per cent complained of ejaculating too quickly, and 17 per cent acknowledged anxiety about performance. One major criticism of this study is that it did not survey individuals above the age of 59. Also, it is unclear whether the complaints of respondents would meet the diagnostic criteria for each sexual dysfunction. There have also been numerous surveys of sexual problems in non-random samples collected from magazine surveys/18 community samples/!9) and clinical populations. The prevalence rates of sexual complaints in these groups were found to be higher than those reported by Laumann et al. Because these surveys did not employ similar diagnostic criteria or methodology, comparisons between studies are difficult.

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