One of the research papers presented at the AUA conference focused on videos related to testosterone issues, in addition to several other male urological conditions, such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and infertility. With difficult-to-discuss subjects like these, it's hardly a surprise the videos enjoy a wide audience.
"These men's health topics are sensitive: erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, decreased sex drive and fertility issues," said Justin Dubin, M.D., the recently named director of men's health at Memorial Healthcare Systems in Hollywood, Florida, and the lead author of one of the studies. "So they don't talk about it. And if they don't talk about it, where do these guys go when they have a problem? They go to the internet and social media."
Dubin and his team sought the top 10 hashtags for each of six topics on Instagram and TikTok. The topics were:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Peyronie's disease
- Male infertility
- Semen retention
Then they took the top 20 videos on TikTok based on views and the top 20 posts on Instagram for likes (both referred to as "impressions" from here forward) for each of those hashtag terms and analyzed the quality of the information presented, as well as who was doing the presenting.
Here's what they found:
- Instagram had more than 900,000 impressions for testosterone-related hashtags.
- TikTok had 700 million such impressions.
- Among the top 40 videos for impressions on each platform, only three posts in total—two on Instagram and one on TikTok—were created by someone claiming to be a physician.
- Among the three physician posts, one was evaluated to be accurate, one inaccurate and one was posting promotional content.
- Of the videos claiming to be "educational," 52.6 percent of the Instagram posts provided accurate information, while just 29.9 percent of the TikTok educational videos did.