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Help us improve your experience by providing feedback on this. Sex experts disagree on how to define and treat women's sexual problems. And is it causing them personal distress? Although psychologists have been studying sex and treating sexual problems for decades, a hot debate is brewing over how to Women want hot sex Model sexual dysfunction--and whether the pharmaceutical industry's interest in developing drugs to treat sexual problems will help women or medicalize their difficulties.
While some believe that developing better definitions of women's sexual problems will lead to better treatment, others worry that such classifications won't reflect the diversity of women's sexual experiences. However, other psychologists say that the development of drugs for female sexual dysfunction FSD has great potential. In the quest to better define FSD, sex experts met in at the International Consensus Development Conference of Female Sexual Dysfunction to develop a new classification system for women's sexual problems.
Arousal disordera persistent inability to attain or maintain sufficient sexual excitement. Orgasm disordera persistent difficulty, delay or absence of orgasm after sufficient stimulation. Pain disorderpersistent genital pain associated with sexual intercourse or stimulation. The report from the conference was first published in the Journal of Urology Vol. While many agreed that the new system is an improvement over the DSM-IV and ICD, some say the conference could have been more inclusive and question the fact that several pharmaceutical companies underwrote its development.
Others express concern about the classification system's reliance on what they consider an outdated model of sexual response. Sugrue, for one, says the system's definition of how sex happens--a triphasic model of desire followed by arousal followed by orgasm--fits men well, but is not reflective of many women's experiences.
I don't think that does us service in terms of our understanding of women and their sexuality. Rather, he says, any definition of sexual function or dysfunction should acknowledge that women's "sex scripts" are variable. For example, they may be aroused by their partner before feeling desire or value the intimacy of the experience more than having an orgasm.
Indeed, many worry that by solidifying what is normal and what is dysfunctional, many women who are comfortable with their sexuality will be told they have a problem when they do not. Moreover, some disagree with the study's definition of women's sexual problems. The classification system requires that a problem cause personal distress to be defined as a disorder, but Tiefer and others note that the JAMA study only asked about women's experiences, not whether women were distressed.
They point to a forthcoming study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior by John Bancroft, MD, that finds that only 24 percent of women said their problems distressed them. However, others say many disorders should be considered problems, even if people don't see them that way. No, it just means they don't want to deal with it. Indeed, Sugrue takes issue with the consensus system's requirement that a symptom must be distressful.
In his practice, he says he Women want hot sex Model seen women who, as a defense mechanism, say they aren't distressed about their sexual problems. Psychologist Sandra Leiblum, PhD, and Rosemary Basson, both involved in the consensus conference, are now co-chairing a group that is revising the system to address the concerns of Sugrue and others. They plan to include six factors that should be considered when describing women's sexual problems, ranging from partner considerations to medications.
Other ideas on the table include emphasizing that women are different from each other within and across cultures, giving more attention to accurate diagnosis of sexual pain and stating that reduced sexual interest is normal with age, length of relationship and other factors. However, Tiefer and others are pushing for a more drastic rethinking of women's sexual problems.
Women's sexual problems are seldom medically based, they propose. Rather, they more often are attributable to:. Sociocultural, political or economic factorssuch as inadequate sex education or fatigue from family and work obligations. Partner and relationship problemsincluding discrepancies in desire for sexual activity and loss of interest due to conflicts over commonplace issues.
Tiefer says she worries drug companies' development of FSD drugs--and the subsequent marketing of them--will leave some women thinking a pill or cream can fix sexual problems that are actually rooted in, for example, a fear of intimacy or a stressful relationship. To date, the Food and Drug Administration has approved one mechanical device but no drug for FSD, although unregulated supplements, which sex experts regard with skepticism, have made their way to the public.
If a drug should be approved, psychologists are split on whether they'd recommend it. However, Sugrue says that, in his experience, even when there is a physical problem behind FSD, medical interventions often have Women want hot sex Model limited impact unless psychological factors are addressed. Goldstein, I. Female Sexuality and Sexual Dysfunction. Kaschak, E. Moynihan, R. The making of a disease: Female sexual dysfunction. BMJ, Segraves, R. up ». Cover Story Women and sex: What is 'dysfunctional'?
Cite this. Smith, D. Women and sex: What is 'dysfunctional'? Monitor on Psychology34 4. What is FSD? The future of FSD Psychologist Sandra Leiblum, PhD, and Rosemary Basson, both involved in the consensus conference, are now co-chairing a group that is revising the system to address the concerns of Sugrue and others.
Rather, they more often are attributable to: Sociocultural, political or economic factorssuch as inadequate sex education or fatigue from family and work obligations.
Psychological factorssuch as past abuse, depression or fear of pregnancy. Further Reading Goldstein, I. Max characters: Letters to the Editor Send us a letter.Women want hot sex Model
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Women and sex: What is 'dysfunctional'?