Indicators of Premature Ejaculation and Their Associations with Sexual Distress in a Population-Based Sample of Young Twins and Their Siblings


Patrick Jern, MPsych, Department of Psychology, Center of Excellence for Behavior Genetics, Åbo Akademi University, 20 500 Åbo, Finland. Tel: 358-2-2154404; Fax: 358-2-2154833; E-mail:


Introduction.  Recently, in anticipation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V, much consideration has been given to the diagnostic criteria for premature ejaculation (PE). The scientific community is yet to agree not only on the etiology of PE, but also on the most suitable diagnosis and forms of treatment. It has been suggested that the diagnostic criteria of PE should be strictly empirical and rely on intravaginal latency time alone, whereas others stress the need to also include psychological and personal factors.

Aim.  To examine different indicators of PE and their relationship with and ability to predict sexual distress.

Main Outcome Measures.  Statistical analyses of data on sexual distress and different measures of ejaculatory function on a population-based sample of 3,332 Finnish men.

Methods.  The present study involved a population-based sample of 3,332 males, of which 2,328 were twins aged 18–33, and 1,004 were over 18-year-old siblings to the aforementioned (M = 26.17 years of age). The individual contributions of different PE-indicator variables to experienced sexual distress were investigated by calculating correlations and performing a regression analysis.

Results.  All included indicators of PE were significantly associated with sexual distress, and significant and logical differences in sexual distress were found between intravariable levels for several of the indicator variables. Only variables relating to subjective experience (e.g., worrying about PE) were uniquely related to sexual distress when other indicators were controlled for.

Conclusions.  The results suggest that variables measuring subjective experience may be useful when considering diagnostic criteria if indicators that are related to sexual distress are considered useful. However, overall, the association between PE and sexual distress is not especially strong, emphasizing the fact that more objective indicators of PE may not necessarily be associated with significant distress. Jern P, Santtila P, Johansson A, Varjonen M, Witting K, Ålgars M, Alanko K, von der Pahlen B, and Sandnabba K. Indicators of premature ejaculation and their associations with sexual distress in a population-based sample of young twins and their siblings. J Sex Med 2008;5:2191–2201.