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Psychoaffective Differences between Sexually Functional and Dysfunctional Men in Response to a Sexual Experience


David Rowland, PhD, Kretzmann Hall 116, Valparaiso University, 1700 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493, USA. Tel: 219-464-5313; Fax: 219-464-5381; E-mail:


Introduction.  Although anxiety and depression have long been implicated as factors in the development and maintenance of sexual dysfunction, other emotional states, more typical and within the range of normality, have received little attention.

Aim.  To investigate key differences in self-reported affective responses between sexually functional and dysfunctional males in the context of a sexual episode with their partner.

Methods.  Participants were men seeking treatment at a urology clinic for either a sexual problem (N = 79) or another urological disorder (N = 16). Individuals rated their affective state across 28 descriptors in response to a partnered sexual experience.

Main Outcome Measure.  The 28-item Psychoaffective Response Form consisted of items assessing positive and negative affect. Principle components analysis was used to identify major underlying positive and negative factors.

Results.  Significant differences were found on nearly all 28 measures of affective response as well as five major underlying factors constructed from those measures. Dysfunctional men more strongly endorsed negative affects and functional men more strongly endorsed positive affects, even though all suffered from a significant urological health issue. No differences existed in sexual desire or the value ascribed to sexual intimacy, suggesting that negative feelings were specifically associated with inadequate sexual performance and not general health concerns.

Conclusion.  These findings reiterate the importance of addressing patients' emotional issues as part of any overall treatment strategy. Rowland DL, Georgoff VL, and Burnett AL. Psychoaffective differences between sexually functional and dysfunctional men in response to a sexual experience. J Sex Med 2011;8:132–139.