The anti-gun crowd loves to try to taunt gun owners by claiming the real reason they own a piece of cold steel is to make up for the limp noodle in their pants. If you’re a guy who owns guns, it simply must mean you’re personally toting a small caliber pocket pistol, or you’re not “manly” enough to rise to the occasion without the help of a little blue pill.
It’s not meant to be a serious argument, of course. But that didn’t stop researchers in Texas from taking a long, hard look at the data, and the results are so satisfying to gun owners you may need to smoke a cigarette after you read them.
“Our gun research has focused on testing the taken-for-granted claims of gun culture,” said lead researcher Terrence D. Hill, an associate sociology professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio. “Are gun owners especially fearful? Do guns help people to sleep better at night? Do guns make people happier? Do guns enhance satisfaction in life? Do guns compensate for sexual dysfunction in men? In each case, the answer has been no. Our general aim is to contribute to more evidence-based discussions of the role of guns in society.”
For their new study, the researchers analyzed data from 780 men who participated in the 2021 Crime, Health, and Politics Survey. In addition to measures of sociodemographic characteristics and other factors, the national survey included multiple items regarding gun ownership and sexual dysfunction. The median age of the sample was 46 years.
About 37% of the men in the sample reported personally owning a gun, 8% reported purchasing a gun during the pandemic, and 27% reported that they kept a gun in their bedroom. When it came to sexual dysfunction, most men said they “rarely” felt anxious about their ability to perform sexually and 19% reported having been prescribed medication for erectile dysfunction at some point.
But the researchers failed to find any relationship between sexual dysfunction and gun ownership.
“Although there has been no direct empirical evidence linking sexual dysfunction with gun ownership, speculation has been widespread and persistent for decades. Our key finding is that men experiencing sexual dysfunction are no more likely to own guns than men without sexual dysfunction,” Hill told PsyPost.