Introduction. The importance of the role played by personality variables in the etiology, development, and maintenance of most emotional disorders is strongly supported by empirical data. However, there is a lack of studies concerning the implication of these variables on sexual difficulties.
Aim. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role played by personality dimensions and psychopathology on male sexual functioning as well as to clarify the way these variables discriminate men with and without sexual dysfunction.
Methods. A total of 229 men participated in the study (a community sample composed by 205 men and a clinical sample by 24 men with a DSM-IV diagnosis of sexual dysfunction). The community sample was subdivided into a control group (n = 152) and a subclinical group (n = 53), according to the cutoff scores of the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction. After giving informed consent, participants completed a set of clinical instruments. Partial correlations, regression analyses, and multivariate analyses of covariance were conducted.
Main Outcomes Measures. All participants completed a set of measures assessing personality dimensions, psychopathological symptoms, and sexual functioning.
Results. After controlling for psychopathology, men with sexual dysfunction presented significantly higher levels of neuroticism when compared to sexually healthy men. Moreover, regression analysis indicated neuroticism as the best predictor of sexual functioning (β = −0.24, P < 0.01). Regarding psychopathology, men with sexual problems presented significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms than the controls. Additionally, depressive symptoms were a significant predictor of sexual functioning (β = −0.41, P < 0.001).
Conclusion. Personality dimensions and psychopathology play an important role on male sexual functioning. The results may have important clinical implications. Quinta Gomes AL and Nobre P. Personality traits and psychopathology on male sexual dysfunction: An empirical study. J Sex Med 2011;8:461–469.