Sex and the Quality of Life in Denmark

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From a representative sample of 2460 Danish citizens, ages 18 to 88, anonymous answers were obtained to a 317-item quality-of-life (QL) questionnaire, which included five questions on sexuality. Among the respondents in the sample, 1.2% reported they were bisexual and 0.9% homosexual. Although sexual problems were found in all age groups, lack of a suitable sex partner and inability to achieve orgasm were more common among the young and erectile dysfunction more common among the old. Most frequent problems among the women were reduced sexual desire (11.2%) and the lack of a suitable sex partner (4.9%), and among the men, the lack of a suitable sexpartner (7.3%)and erectile dysfunction (5.4%). The QL of persons with sexual problems was from 1.2 to 19.1% lower than the population mean (as expressed in terms of this mean). The intermediate sized covariation between sexual problems and the QL suggests that such problems can be symptoms of a reduced QL rather than medical problems to be tackled through medical intervention or sex therapy proper. Implications for a quality-of-life-sensitive clinical practice are discussed.

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