Sexual dysfunctions among young men: prevalence and associated factors

J Adolesc Health. 2012 Jul;51(1):25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.01.008. Epub 2012 Mar 15.


Purpose: The purposes of this study are to measure the prevalence of premature ejaculation (PE) and erectile dysfunction (ED) among a population of Swiss young men and to assess which factors are associated with these sexual dysfunctions in this age-group.

Methods: For each condition (PE and ED), we performed separate analyses comparing young men suffering from the condition with those who were not. Groups were compared for substance use (tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, other illegal drugs, and medication without a prescription), self-reported body mass index, sexual orientation, physical activity, professional activity, sexual experience (sexual life length and age at first intercourse), depression status, mental health, and physical health in a bivariate analysis. We then used a log-linear analysis to consider all significant variables simultaneously.

Results: Prevalence rates for PE and ED were 11% and 30%, respectively. Poor mental health was the only variable to have a direct association with both conditions after controlling for potential confounders. In addition, PE was directly associated with tobacco, illegal drugs, professional activity, and physical activity, whereas ED was directly linked with medication without a prescription, length of sexual life, and physical health.

Conclusions: In Switzerland, one-third of young men suffer from at least one sexual dysfunction. Multiple health-compromising factors are associated with these dysfunctions. These should act as red flags for health professionals to encourage them to take any opportunity to talk about sexuality with their young male patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Young Adult