Most men think that being seen as an honourable, self-reliant, and respected person is what defines masculinity rather than being seen as attractive, sexually active or successful with women, according to an international study.
Published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study included interviews with over 27,000 randomly selected men from eight countries, namely Germany, U.S., U.K., Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and France.
About 16 per cent of the subjects reported erectile problems.
The study revealed that the men more frequently ranked good health, harmonious family life and good relationships with their wife or partner as more important to their quality of life than material, self-fulfilling or purely sexual concerns.
There was no significant difference in rankings of masculinity and quality of life characteristics between men with and without erectile dysfunction.
"Many meanings, positive and negative, are attached to the term, 'masculinity'. To ask a large sample of men what comprises their own sense of masculinity is very useful for both the media and for research. These results suggest we should pay attention and ask rather than presume we know," said Julia Heiman, director of The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and an author of this study.