An epidemiological study of sexual disorders in south Indian rural population

Indian J Psychiatry. Apr-Jun 2015;57(2):150-7. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.158143.


Background: Sexuality is an important aspect of the personality of an individual and influences psychological, physical and social well-being of both men and women. It is a paradox, that in the country where 'kamasutra' (by Vatsyayana) took birth, there is a lack of research publications and sexuality related literature; hence the current study was conducted, to estimate the prevalence and association of sexual disorders with various socio-demographic variables, in the selected rural population.

Materials and methods: Subjects who were sexually active and fulfilled the study criteria were administered Arizona Sexual Experience Scale as screening tool for the presence of sexual problems. Those who were found to be having sexual problems were interviewed further using appropriate questionnaires.

Results: 21.15% of the male subjects were diagnosed to have one (or more) sexual disorder. Prevalence of erectile dysfunction was found to be 15.77%, male hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) 2.56%; premature ejaculation was found to be prevalent in 8.76% of the male subjects. Around 14% of the female subjects were diagnosed to have female sexual disorders. Prevalence of female arousal dysfunction was found to be 6.65%, female HSDD 8.87%, female anorgasmia 5.67%, female dyspareunia 2.34% and female sexual aversion disorder was found to be prevalent in 0.37% of the female subjects.

Conclusion: This study concluded that one in five males and one in seven females were suffering from one (or more) sexual disorder. Improving the training of undergraduate medical and nursing students in sexuality related issues, increasing trained individuals in sexual medicine by starting new courses, providing sex education to the general population using media and merging sexual health care with primary care, are likely to play a significant role in addressing the increasing sexual health morbidity.

Keywords: Epidemiological study on sexual disorders; erectile dysfunction; female arousal dysfunction; female sexual disorders; hypoactive sexual desire disorder; male sexual disorders; premature ejaculation; prevalence of sexual disorders in India; sexual disorders.