A psychological profile of the sexual dysfunctions

Leonard R. Derogatis, Jon K. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present report summarizes an assessment of the psychological characteristics of a sample of sexually dysfunctional patients and compares them to those of a sample of heterosexual normals. Forty-seven male and 40 female dysfunctional patients were evaluated on the Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory (DSFI) and contrasted to a group of 200 heterosexual normals. Findings indicated substantial differences between dysfunctionals and normals on seven of the eight subtests of the DSFI. Both male and female patients showed higher levels of psychological distress and dysphoric affect than normals, and also revealed decrements on sexual information. Particularly noteworthy among male dysfunctionals were lowered sexual drive levels and a somewhat constricted repertoire of sexual experiences. Male dysfunctionals also revealed gender role definitions less polarized in the masculine direction. Female patients did not reveal any additional decrements beyond those mentioned previously, and some equivocation in defining gender role. However, detailed analyses of Experience and Fantasy subtests depicted female patients as more creative and less constrained in their sexual activities. Conclusions suggest that sexually dysfunctional patients do maintain a characteristic psychological profile but one that is distinct for males and females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-223
Number of pages23
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1979


  • psychological assessment
  • sexual dysfunction
  • sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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