Video game usage may lower male libido according to a new pilot study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The article, entitled “Relationship Between Use of Videogames and Sexual Health in Adult Males,” is suggested as the first peer-reviewed look at the intersection of gaming and male sexual health.
In addition to male libido, researchers also investigated the effect of video games on premature ejaculation (PE), reporting a finding that suggested male gamers are “less prone” to PE. According to the study, some potential answers for these findings were activation of the dopaminergic system, causing a tolerance to sexual stimulation while also decreasing the interest for sexual activity.
Conducted through indirect administration of questionnaires via social media sites such as reddit and Facebook, the study focused on male video game players between the ages of 18 to 50. Some 396 responses were collected in the study with 287 classified as “gamers.”
The limitations section of the study speaks to the potential weakness of using social media, citing a potential for respondents to be prone to be bias and a sort of tolerance to gaming stimuli through multiple years of play. Despite these limitations the paper states that “preliminary findings seem promising” and suggests more definitive research in the future.
However, corresponding author Dr. Andrea Sansone, a self confessed “avid gamer and hardcore nerd,” said that the findings are still early to discuss correlation too heavily.
“This is a pilot study, so it’s a bit early to talk about correlation for our findings,” Sansone said. “Results do not take into consideration medical history, endocrine disorders and psychological issues – all of which might play a role in sexual dysfunctions. However, since we proved a correlation between video games and sexual dysfunctions, it might be a good idea to consider further studies on this topic.”
While still early in the process, Sansone went on to state that it may be important for physicians to start thinking about how electronic entertainment can influence or treat various sexual conditions. She also suggested that it is important for people in general to also consider how gaming can influence their personal relationships.
Looking at future research, Sansone said that this pilot study has generated new questions to consider as this new field of study develops.
“Are all games able to affect sexual functioning in the same way?” Sansone said. “Would a 6-hours marathon of League of Legends have the same effects on a human brain than, say, playing MiniMetro or Tetris for the same duration? Is increased use of electronic entertainment a cause or a consequence of reduced sexual drive?”
An abstract of “Relationship Between Use of Videogames and Sexual Health in Adult Males” is currently available at Science Direct.