The relationship between erectile dysfunction, sexual self efficacy and the dark triad

Banbury, Samantha, Moneta, Giovanni B., Chandler, Chris and Hutchison, Paul (2022) The relationship between erectile dysfunction, sexual self efficacy and the dark triad. International Journal of Scientific Research in Science and Technology, 9 (6). pp. 484-497. ISSN 2395-6011


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the lack, or loss of ability to achieve or maintain an erection and is a commonly reported sexual dysfunction in healthcare. Whilst research has centred on the dark triad, personality, and sexuality; associations between dark triad traits, and sexual dysfunction appear scarce. This study aimed to establish whether there was a relationship between the dark triad traits, sexual self-efficacy (SSE) and ED. Sixty-four participants including 45 men with ED and 19 men without ED, aged between 18-60 years contributed to an online cross-sectional survey consisting of questionnaires measuring ED, the dark triad traits, SSE and demographic information. Results suggested a moderate to high positive correlation with narcissism and psychopathy traits on ED (aggravating effect) and a negative moderate to high correlation with Machiavellianism and SSE (protective effect) on ED. Both Machiavellianism, specifically subscale reputation and SSE were predictors of ED. This suggests that higher levels of SSE and Machiavellianism (reputation) were associated with lower levels of ED and narcissism and psychopathy were associated with higher levels of ED. However, until further research is conducted on a larger and diverse cohort, which examines the causal pathways SSE and the dark triad might have on ED, this remains inconclusive. Nevertheless, this area warrants further exploration, with a view to developing suitable assessment and intervention stratagem in psychosexual services to support ED.

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