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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 76-80

Prevalence of female frigidity

1 Department of Dermatology, Andrology and STDs, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
2 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Alanfoshy Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt

Date of Submission14-Aug-2019
Date of Decision19-Sep-2019
Date of Acceptance29-Sep-2019
Date of Web Publication27-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Doaa S Elsobky
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Alanfoshy Hospital, Alexandria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mmj.mmj_247_19

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To determine the prevalence of female frigidity among Egyptian females.
Female frigidity or lack of sexual desire is the most prevalent sexual dysfunction in women across all ages. It was previously referred to as hypoactive sexual desire disorder and recently as female sexual interest and arousal disorder. Women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder may report little or no interest in sex, an inability to respond to sexual stimuli, or feeling numbness despite having a good relationship with her partner.
Patients and methods
This cross-sectional study was carried out in the period between June 2018 and July 2019. It was done at many sites providing services for women mainly in Alexandria and Menoufia, and also a web-based form was shared on social media groups and pages for women from Egypt. The patients were selected randomly. The study used the female sexual function index, and an Arabic translation was done with the questionnaire, and a section was added to collect data about the demographic characteristics of the participant.
The study statistically showed that the prevalence of female frigidity among the study participants was 69.5%, the prevalence of female sexual dysfunction among the study group was 65.5%, and the prevailing sexual disorder among the study group was low sexual desire.
In this study, hypoactive sexual desire disorder was reported in 69.5% of women. There was a significant correlation between female sexual dysfunction and age, residency, and the duration of marriage.

Keywords: Egypt, female sexual function index, women

How to cite this article:
Gaber MA, Elsobky DS. Prevalence of female frigidity. Menoufia Med J 2021;34:76-80

How to cite this URL:
Gaber MA, Elsobky DS. Prevalence of female frigidity. Menoufia Med J [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 May 16];34:76-80. Available from: http://www.mmj.eg.net/text.asp?2021/34/1/76/312033

  Introduction Top

Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a problem that prevents the individual from having the satisfaction of sexual activity. It is a disorder of sexual desire, orgasm, satisfaction, arousal, and sexual pain that results in significant personal distress [1]. Low sexual desire is currently known as sexual interest/arousal disorder in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders and was previously known as female frigidity. It is characterized by absent or reduced sexual interest or arousal with personal distress (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). However, the variability in how symptoms are expressed in different ways and how those different symptoms affect treatment decision making has not been entirely mapped out, so the treatment of low desire is somewhat complex [2]. The new diagnosis of sexual interest/arousal disorder means that women experienced at least three of the following in the past 6 months: absent/reduced interest in sex, absent/reduced erotic thoughts or fantasies, reductions or absence of sexual activity, absent/reduced sexual pleasure during sexual activity, absent/reduced responsive sexual desire, and absent/reduced physical sexual sensations [3]. Sexual arousal in women comprises two components: genital arousal and subjective arousal. Genital arousal is characterized by physiological changes that occur in response to sexual stimuli, whereas subjective arousal refers to mental engagement during sexual activity. Although many questions about how best to understand sexual arousal in women remain unanswered, the two components to sexual arousal in women, genital arousal and subjective arousal, are generally well accepted. In 1998, sildenafil (Viagra) proved a marvelous success in treating male arousal problems and erectile dysfunction, and there are great efforts for developing a similar drug for women [4].

The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of female frigidity among Egyptian females.

  Patients and methods Top

The study was approved by the ethics committee of Menoufia University. We informed all the participants of the aim of the questionnaire, and all their answers were secret. Verbal consents were obtained. All participants were volunteers, and they had all the rights to refuse to begin, cooperate, or complete the questionnaire at any time. This was a cross-sectional study done on 200 married sexually active Egyptian females between 18 and 60 years old. The study was performed in a period of 14 months (from the 1st of June 2018, till the 30 of July 2019) at many places providing services for women mainly in Alexandria and Menoufia. Moreover, a web-based form was shared on social media groups and pages for females from Egypt. Hundred questionnaires were collected online. Moreover, 100 questionnaires were collected through direct communication with the participants. Exclusion criteria were unmarried females aged less than 18 or more than 60 years or females with continuously traveling husband. This study used an Arabic translation of the female sexual function index (FSFI), and a section was added to obtain information on the demographic characteristics, including age, marital state, educational level, working, residence, husband age, income, duration of marriage, number of pregnancies, nationality, and husband's presence. This standardized questionnaire is a 19-item self-report questionnaire designed to assess female sexual function. It evaluates six domains of female sexual function during the past 4 weeks: desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain. Individual domain scores were obtained by adding the scores of the individual answers for the domain and multiplying the sum by the domain factor. Scores more than 65% (more than 3.9) in each domain were considered as sexual dysfunction in that domain. The total score was obtained by summing all the six domain scores. A FSFI-total cutoff score less than or equal to 26.55 was used to identify participants with FSD. In our study, we considered the female as frigid if she has a low score (<3.9) in at least one or more of the followings: desire score, arousal score, or lubrication score.

Statistical analysis

Data were collected, tabulated, and statistically analyzed using an IBM personal computer with statistical package of social science, version 22 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA), where the following statistics were applied: descriptive statistics in which quantitative data were presented in the form of mean, SD, and range, and qualitative data were presented in the form numbers and percentages. Analytical statistics were used to find out the possible association between the studied factors and the targeted disease. χ2 test was used to study the association between two qualitative variables. The P value of more than 0.05 was considered statistically nonsignificant. The P value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The P value of less than 0.001 was considered statistically highly significant.

  Results Top

The prevalence of female frigidity among the participants is 69.5%. [Table 1] shows that there was a statistically highly significantly relation between frigidity and female age, duration of marriage, husband age, and educational level. We found that female frigidity is increased with age and in females with high educational level, and also it is more obvious in couples with marriage duration less than 10 years. There is no significant relation between female frigidity and residency, work, income, and number of pregnancies. FSD is present in 65.5% of the participants, whereas 34.5% of them have normal sexual function. As shown in [Table 2], there was a statistically highly significant relation between FSD and female age, residency, husband age, and duration of marriage. We found that FSD is increase with age and in females with high educational level, and also FSD is more obvious in females from rural areas and in newly married couples for less than 10 years. There was no significant relation between FSD and educational level, work, income, and number of pregnancies. [Table 3] shows that 59% of participants had low sexual desire, whereas 53.5% had low sexual arousal. Lubrication problems were found in 46% of the participants, whereas 53.5% had orgasmic difficulty, 38.5% are not satisfied with their sexual or intimate life, and 28% complained of dyspareunia.
Table 1: Relation between female frigidity and sociodemographic data of the studied women (n=200)

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Table 2: Relation between female sexual dysfunction and sociodemographic data of studied women (n=200)

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Table 3: Number and percent distribution of female sexual function domains among the participants (n=200)

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  Discussion Top

Female sexual interest/arousal disorder is now considered the most common sex-related complaint reported by women [5]. In the current study, we used the FSFI, which is validated in the diagnosis of FSD [6]. An Arabic translation was done on the 19 questions of the questionnaire, and a section was added to obtain information on the demographic characteristics of the participants. In our study, the prevalence of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (female frigidity) is 69.5%. These data are consistent with those of Öberg et al. [7], who found that 45% of Swedish women have a decreased sexual desire, and also Johnson et al. [8], who found that more than 40% of women in the USA have desire disorder. In contrast, Shokrollahi et al. [9] reported a lower rate of hypoactive desire (15%) in Tehran. The low rate of direct complaints about sexual problems among women in Tehran probably reflects cultural factors, such as shyness and embarrassment. According to our study, the prevalence of FSD among the study group is 65.5%. This is in agreement with Abdullahi et al. [1], who reported that it was 86.0% in Aminu Kano. However, Starc et al. [10] found that the prevalence of FSD in Slovenia is 31%. This may be owing to increase in the level of awareness among physicians and doctors about FSD and the ways of diagnosis in some countries. In the current study, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction was found to increase with increasing age; this may be owing to stressful lifestyle and increased vaginal dryness and other health problems. This is in agreement with Hassanin et al. [11] in their study in Upper Egypt, and also with Zhang et al. [12], who reported the same results about Chinese women. Moreover, we found that FSD is increased among highly educated women. This was in agreement with Van Geelen et al. [13], which may be owing to their ability to express their demands to their partners or seeking for help and medical advice. However, Hassanin et al. [11] reported that the level of education of the women was not correlated with the incidence of sexual dysfunction. The results of the present study shows that work status and level of income did not affect sexual function greatly. In contrast, Laumann et al. [14], found a positive correlation between low economic position and sexual dysfunction. In Egypt, the lack of this correlation may be owing to low difference in the income of the studied groups. According to the results of this study, the prevailing sexual problem is low sexual desire disorder, with a prevalent rate of 59%. We also found that 46% of the participants have problems with lubrication, 53.5% have orgasmic disorder, 38.5% reported sexual dissatisfaction, and 53.5% have low sexual arousal. Dyspareunia is reported by 28%. This relatively low rate is in agreement with the study conducted by Kadri et al. [15] in Morocco, and with Elnashar et al. [16], who found that 31.5% of women experienced dyspareunia in Lower Egypt. However, higher ranges were reported by Hassanin et al. [11] in Upper Egypt. This difference may be owing to individual variations between the study participants and difference in methodology or data collection between different studies. In our study, the prevailing sexual disorder is low sexual desire disorder. This is in agreement with Kadri et al. [15], and Cayan [17], in their study on Turkish women. In contrast to our results, both Ponholzer et al. [18], in their study on Austrian women, and Safarinejad [19], in Iran, reported that the most prevalent disorder was orgasmic disorder (37%).

  Conclusion Top

Prevalence of FSD shows large differences between different studies and countries. This may be owing to racial and socioeconomic variability. In our study, the prevalence of female frigidity is 69.5%. The prevalence of FSD is 65.5%. Generally, great varieties in the results of different studies about female sexual problems reflect cultural barriers such as shyness from talking or expressing their sexual problems, and also may be owing to lack of experiences among physicians to diagnose and treat such problems and to gain the female trust to talk about her complaint without shyness.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Abdullahi HM, Abdurrahman A, Ahmed ZD, Tukur J. Female sexual dysfunction among women attending the family planning clinic at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital: a cross-sectional survey. Nig J Basic Clin Sci 2019; 16:32.  Back to cited text no. 1
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Tuiten A, Michiels F, Böcker KB, Höhle D, van Honk J, de Lange RP, et al. Genotype scores predict drug efficacy in subtypes of female sexual interest/arousal disorder: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over trial. Women's Health (Lond) 2018; 14:1745506518788970.  Back to cited text no. 5
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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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