Sexual Function and Behavior in Social Phobia
J Clin Psychiatry 2002;63(10):874-879
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: Social phobia is a type of
performance and interpersonal anxiety disorder and as such may be
associated with sexual dysfunction and avoidance. The aim of the
present study was to evaluate sexual function and behavior in
patients with social phobia compared with mentally healthy
Method: Eighty subjects participated in the
study: 40 consecutive, drug-free outpatients with social phobia
(DSM-IV) attending an anxiety disorders clinic between November
1997 and April 1999 and 40 mentally normal controls. The
Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders and the
Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale were used to quantitatively and
qualitatively assess sexual function and behavior.
Results: Men with social phobia reported mainly
moderate impairment in arousal, orgasm, sexual enjoyment, and
subjective satisfaction domains. Women with social phobia
reported severe impairment in desire, arousal, sexual activity,
and subjective satisfaction. In addition, compared with controls,
men with social phobia reported significantly more frequent paid
sex (p < .05), and women with social phobia reported a
significant paucity of sexual partners (p < .05).
Conclusion: Patients with social phobia exhibit
a wide range of sexual dysfunctions. Men have mainly performance
problems, and women have a more pervasive disorder. Patients of
both genders show difficulties in sexual interaction. It is
important that clinicians be aware of this aspect of social
phobia and initiate open discussions of sexual problems with