Psychosexual dysfunction in males with genital anomalies: Late adolescence, Tanner stages IV to VI

William G. Reiner, John P. Gearhart, Robert Jeffs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess psychosexual function in adolescent males with genital anomalies. Method: Fourteen consecutive males with bladder exstrophy- epispadias, 14 to 19 years old, Tanner stages IV to VI, were assessed along with their parents, using a developmental questionnaire, Hollingshead socioeconomic status rating, Child Behavior Checklist, Youth Self-Report, semistructured psychiatric interview, detailed sexual history, and 5 written, open-ended questions. Results: All subjects showed psychosexual dysfunction in terms of genital satisfaction and genital touching; only 2 had ever undressed in front of anyone; only 2 had ever masturbated and only after age 16; 8 had few friends and only 5 considered any girls as friends; all expressed heterosexuality but only 4 had dated, 1 at age 17 and 2 after age 18; only the two 19-year-olds had experienced sexual intercourse, at the age of 19. All had an anxiety disorder. Half had experienced a major depressive disorder. Conclusions: Psychosexual dysfunction and anxiety were universal and chronic in these males with genital anomalies, leading to social and sexual developmental impairment. Half had a mood disorder. Implications for adulthood as well as for children with other genital anomalies are unclear but deserve further study. Males with genital anomalies should be evaluated for psychosexual developmental impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-872
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1999


  • Adolescence
  • Adolescent sexual behavior
  • Genital anomalies
  • Psychosexual dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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