Investigative Essay

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Ashlynn Zickefoose
English 102 (Section 009)
Investigative Essay: Gender and Sexuality
5 February 2013
“Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it bring forth death” (James 1:14-15). Many people believe that even if you are married, too much sex is a sin. However, where do we draw the line and say that someone is having too much sex? Today, doctors are diagnosing women with hyper sexuality, but before, the term was nymphomania. Nymphomania is defined as excessive sexual desire by a female (Merriam Webster Dictionary). Women are put through a lot of stress about their sex life because they are so judgmental on each other. Women who enjoy having sex more than others begin to get called a whore or slut. A thought that continues to cross my mind: was the term nymphomania created to replace words such as slut or whore? After research I have concluded that women do consider themselves nymphomaniacs to think positively about their high sex drives and cravings.

According to Groneman, the word nymphomaniac actually was originated in the nineteenth century; the first diagnosis of nymphomania was in 1841. Before gynecology was a profession, psychologists would diagnose nymphomania. The first woman to be diagnosed, Miss T., thought that she was going insane because she uttered disgusting noises and moved her body in a way that expressed uncontrollable feelings. After visiting a psychologist, he said that her enlarged clitoris was the sign that it was indeed nymphomania. In the nineteenth century, doctors believed that women’s genitals caused physical and mental diseases. They believed that a woman’s genitalia such as the ovaries was much more prone to causing disease than a man’s, such as his testes. They believed that this only occurred in a female’s organs because they believed that after the menstrual cycle, a woman’s body couldn’t find equilibrium again. Psychologists at the time also believed that nymphomania was a...
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