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The Global Online Sexuality Survey (GOSS): Female Sexual Dysfunction among Internet Users in the Reproductive Age Group in the Middle East


Osama Kamal Zaki Shaeer, MD, Department of Andrology, Kasr El Aini Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, 21 Gaber Ibn Hayan St., Dokki, Cairo Egypt, 12311 ARE; PO Box: 47 Bab El-Louk, 11513, Cairo, Egypt. Tel: (202) 33359047, (202) 33374360, (202) 01006600606; Fax: (202) 37605181; E-mail:


Introduction.  The exact prevalence of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in the Middle East is exceptionally difficult to measure in light of its sensitive nature and the conservative tinge of the population.

Aim.  The Global Online Sexuality Survey-Arabic-Females (GOSS-AR-F) is a community-based study of female sexuality in the Middle East through an online survey.

Main Outcome Measures.  Prevalence of risk for female sexual dysfunction (rFSD) in the reproductive age group and its vulnerability to various risk factors.

Methods.  GOSS-AR-F was offered via online advertising. The survey is comprised of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire among other questions.

Results.  Out of 2,920 participants, 344 participants completed all survey questions. Average total FSFI score was 23 ± 6.5, with 59.1% of participants suffering rFSD. Age adjusted prevalence of rFSD was 59.5%, standardized to World Health Organization World Standard Population. There was a statistically significant higher prevalence of rFSD among cases with subjectively reported depression and male partner-related shortcomings such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation as reported by the female participant, in addition to dissatisfaction with partner's penile size, insufficient foreplay, and practice of masturbation. This was not the case with advancing age, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking, ongoing pregnancy, mode of previous child delivery, infertility, menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea, interpersonal distress, subjectively reported hirsutism, and female genital cutting. Participants were found to require longer duration of coitus and better ejaculatory control but not necessarily a higher coital frequency.

Conclusion.  Female sexual function in the reproductive age appears to be adversely affected by psychological factors and shortcomings in male sexual function more than anything. These findings point to the possibility that many cases of FSD can be managed with the focus on male partner's ailments and attitudes that are relatively easier to manage. Shae er O, Shaeer K, and Shaeer E. The Global Online Sexuality Survey (GOSS): Female sexual dysfunction among Internet users in the reproductive age group in the Middle East. J Sex Med 2012;9:411–424.