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Monday, 11 September, 2000, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Men 'embarrassed' about Viagra
Many men say they don't know anything about Viagra
Many men fail to seek help for impotence because they are afraid of damaging their "macho" image, according to a study.

Research carried out at Canterbury Christ Church University College found that many men are so afraid of damaging their image that they deny any knowledge of treatments for impotence, such as Viagra.

The study revealed that men believe they would "lose face" with other men if they were taking Viagra.

Researchers examined the views of two groups of men, aged over 40. The first group included men from a sports club and the other comprised men who were attending a clinic for impotence problems.

The first group spent its time joking about Viagra, sex and women as a way of dealing with embarrassment.

If men are with a group of friends they are not even prepared to admit that they know about Viagra

Rona Rubin, Canterbury Christ Church University College

They claimed to have hardly any knowledge of Viagra and that it didn't concern men like them, who were sporty and had a good social life.

They also suggested that women do not want their husbands to take Viagra and added that mature women didn't really want a sexual relationship.

In contrast, the second group agreed that Viagra was extremely important in enabling them to maintain a good relationship with their wives.

They added that mature women were just as interested in sex as men.

However, they agreed that they would lose face if other men knew they were taking Viagra.


Rona Rubin, a chartered psychologist from Canterbury Christ Church University, who carried out the study, said the findings were worrying.

"If men are with a group of friends they are not even prepared to admit that they know about Viagra and if they did know about it they made excuses for it.

"If that is the case, then how on earth are they going to find information and have the confidence to go to see their GP to discuss their problems," she said.

Ms Rubin added that men need to overcome their embarrassment if they are to seek help with impotence problems.

"Men will have to come a long way in terms of their own masculinity before uptake is going to be anywhere near the right levels."

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12 Mar 99 | Medical notes
Viagra: The pill for impotence
14 Aug 00 | Health
Norwich is 'Viagra capital' of UK
02 Jun 98 | Medical notes
How Viagra works
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