Survey Suggests Need to Reduce Barriers in Addressing Sexual Health Conditions

Author: Kelton in collaboration with Men's Health Network, the American Sexual Health Association, HealthyWomen and Pfizer
Published: Wednesday 19th November 2014
Summary: Survey shows people failing to address sexual health concerns despite importance of sexual health impact on personal happiness and well-being.

New National Survey Highlights Importance of Sexual Health but Reveals Lack of Comfort in Addressing Issues.

According to a new national survey released today, people are failing to address their sexual health concerns despite acknowledging the importance of sexual health and its impact on personal happiness and well-being. The survey shows that while the majority of people (64 percent) believe sexual health correlates with overall satisfaction in life, more than a quarter shy away from addressing challenges with their doctor and only 13 percent of those dissatisfied with their sex lives are honest with their partners about their concerns and needs.

The survey was conducted by Kelton in collaboration with Men's Health Network, the American Sexual Health Association, HealthyWomen and Pfizer. It examined the impact of sexual health issues on overall health, happiness, and communication among 3,015 U.S. adults in committed relationships in which at least one partner was experiencing a sexual health issue. Key findings from the survey will be presented this week at the 20th Annual Fall Scientific Meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (November 20-23).

"People are increasingly taking charge of their health in other areas, but that level of comfort hasn't translated into addressing sexual health issues," said Eli Coleman, PhD, Director, Program in Human Sexuality, Professor and Chair in Sexual Health, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota. "We see growing comfort with sex as a cultural topic, but people still aren't talking about their own sex lives, which has important implications for their overall health and happiness."

Survey findings also revealed that while people continue to expand their notions of what can be accomplished later in life, their outlook on sexual health is discouraging. More than a third of those surveyed – aged as young as 40 – believe they are resigned to a worse sex life in 20 years, particularly those who are already dissatisfied with their sex lives. Nearly 1 in 5 avoid sex altogether because of sexual health issues.

"The significance of sexual health to one's overall physical, emotional and psychological well-being, reflected in these findings, creates an urgency to address sexual health issues, as people would with other health concerns," said Brandon Leonard, MA, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Men's Health Network. "Embarrassment and discomfort are barriers, indicating a need to consider ways to encourage more of the large percentage of Americans who suffer from sexual health conditions to address them."

Key survey findings include:

Men's Health Network, in collaboration with ASHA, HealthyWomen and Pfizer, will host a Twitter chat (#SexHealthChat) to discuss the data on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm ET.

For more information, the multimedia news release is available at

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The Sexual Health Divide

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