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J Sex Med. 2014 Jan;11(1):154-64. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12345. Epub 2013 Oct 28.

Correlates of men's sexual interest: a cross-cultural study.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, ISPA-Instituto Universitário, Lisbon, Portugal.



Low sexual desire has been studied more extensively in women than in men.


The study aims to analyze the correlates of distressing lack of sexual interest and the self-assessed reasons for the lack of sexual interest among heterosexual men from three countries.


A web-based survey was completed by 5,255 men aged 18-75 years from Portugal, Croatia, and Norway.


We used an item that assesses lack of sexual interest from the British NATSAL 2000. Anxiety and depression were measured with the SCL-ANX4 and SCL-DEP6. Relationship intimacy was measured using a five-item version of the Emotional Intimacy Scale. A shortened version of the Sexual Boredom Scale was used to assess proneness to sexual boredom in relation to the duration of relationship, and personal distress was evaluated using an item created for this study.


Distressing lack of sexual interest lasting at least 2 months in the previous year was reported by 14.4% of the participants. The most prevalent comorbidity among these men was erectile difficulty (48.7%). Men with low confidence levels in erectile function, not feeling attracted to the partner, and those in long-term relationships were more likely to have experienced lack of sexual interest than were men with high confidence levels and those who felt attracted to their partner and those in shorter-term relationships. Professional stress was the most frequently reported reason for lack of sexual interest. Sexual boredom as a result of a long-term relationship was significantly and negatively correlated with the level of intimacy (r = -0.351, P < 0.001) and sexual satisfaction (r = -0.497, P < 0.001).


Distressing lack of sexual interest in heterosexual men was associated with a number of intrapersonal (self-confidence in erectile function, stress), interpersonal (relationship duration, partner attractiveness), and sociocultural variables.


Men; Relationship Duration; Sexual Desire; Sexual Interest

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