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Sex Lives of Med Students

From Medscape Med Students
Beyond the Classroom
Surveying the Sex Lives of Medical Students
Posted 05/14/2008
Alan W. Shindel, MD

--medical school can be a stressful experience
--recent study of sexual function in Chinese medical students
--the last peer-reviewed reports on sexual dysfunction in US medical students were published decades ago:
--1967, Woods and Natterson report: 22/40 male med students had concerns about "sexual potency"
--this pilot study of sexual dysfunction conducted at Washington University in Saint Louis, MO
--survey consists of 1. demographic questionnaire coupled with validated instruments for assessment of human sexuality-->
--(for males: International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), Self Esteem and Relationship Quality survey (SEAR), and Index of Premature Ejaculation (IPE))
--(for females: Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and the Index of Sex Life (ISL)
--group incl 54 men, 78 women, normatively normal sexual histories (age at first intercourse, number of partners, intercourse frequency)
--male medical students reported a higher incidence of erectile dysfunction (roughly 30%) compared with normative data (estimated at 7% among US men 18-29 years old)
--incidence of other sexual problems in men (ex: premature ejaculation) was similar to normative data
--high frequency of sexual problems among females: 63% were at "high risk" for sexual dysfunction on the basis of validated FSFI cutoff scores
--prevalent among females: low "desire," "orgasm," high "pain". The orgasm and pain complaints were worse than norms, but the low desire complaint was closer to the norm for the age
--42% of the female medical students reported interference in their sexual life from "excessive tiredness"
--more than one third blamed a "lack of sexual partner" or "psychological stress"
--people in relationships had higher sexual function scores, both genders
--study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine
--small sample size makes researchers reluctant to extrapolate generalize on findings
--control was not a real control but data from questionnaire with single-item questions
--not measure for personal distress related to sexual fx
--new survey of stress, sexuality, and sexual dysfunction in students enrolled at allopathic and osteopathic medical schools in North America
--AMA supports & endorses the study
--same endorsement being sought from the Sexual Medicine Society of North America
--new study uses same validated survey tools with modifications to improve applicatbility to sexual minority groups
--newly included: 2 validated instruments to assess depressive and anxiety symptoms
--survey expanded w/ new questions on sexual experiences, personal stress related to sexual function, and comfort in dealing with sexuality issues in clinical practice
--research team: Dr. Christian J. Nelson, PhD (clinical psychologist from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY), Kathryn Ando, PhD (c) (sexologist from Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, California), Tom F. Lue, MD (world-renowned expert and pioneer in the field of men's sexual health)
--TO PARTICIPATE: students who are currently enrolled in an allopathic or osteopathic medical school are invited to take the survey: https://www.questionpro.com/akira/TakeSurvey?id=857308
--General questions may be directed to Alan W. Shindel, MD, principal investigator, at shindela@urology.ucsf.edu

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