Sexual Dysfunctions

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Sexual dysfunctions are disorders related to a particular phase of the sexual response cycle. Sexual problems are often the result of simple learned behaviors and associations we make over years of conditioning. One common, yet embarrassing sexual dysfunction seen in both males and females is male/female orgasmic disorder. The definition is vague, and can be applied to dysfunctions experienced by either sex. Orgasmic disorder is defined as the persistent or recurrent delay in, or absence of, orgasm following a normal sexual excitement phase. The diagnosis of orgasmic disorder on the other hand, does slightly vary by gender. For women the diagnosis should be based on the clinician's judgment that the woman's orgasmic capacity is less than would be reasonable for her age, sexual experience, and the adequacy of sexual stimulation she receives. For males, a prevalent disorder is determined by taking into account the man's age, and should appear to be adequate in focus, intensity, and duration. The main factors that generally cause this disturbance are attributed to marked distress or interpersonal difficulty in the suffer. Fortunately, orgasmic disorder in both sexes is not chronic or life threatening by any means, and can be easily reversed if the individual is willing to seek proper psychology care.

I chose this specific disorder mainly because I would like to gain more insight on the connection between an individual's psychological distress or intense mental concern of their sexual performance, and the repercussions that those precognitions have on their physical performance. In the case of orgasmic disorder, regardless of sufficient stimulation and the absolute desire to achieve an orgasm , the individual feels that it may be deemed physically "impossible." In general, orgasms are a common and wonderful feeling, and create closure to an enjoyable sexual experience. Not achieving orgasm can produce continue and increased distress, which is all the most reason suffers should seek professional assistance.

The article entitled "Bibliotherapy in the Treatment of Sexual Dysfunctions: A Meta-Analysis," by Jacques van Lankveld, addressed a "common-sense" approach to treating sexual dysfunctions, focusing mainly on orgasmic disorders. The experimenters were testing to see if bibliotherapy, which refers to the treatment of health problems through the use of written material, such as self-help pamphlets, would prove to be more beneficial than one-on-one therapy sessions in helping individuals overcome their sexual dysfunction disorder. The predicted benefits of using self-help material over the common therapeutic approach, is the increased chance of seeking help by reducing embarrassing patient-to-therapist contact, as well as the economic advantages of purchasing moderately priced literature that could be read in the privacy of one's own home, compared to costly, and possibly emotionally distressing therapy sessions.

I do not feel that the author tested his hypothesis to the best of his ability. In analyzing his abstract, it states that his data is only comprised of 397 participants. My first impression was that such a small number of participants could not by any means supply enough sufficient data based on the information gathered to be properly applied to the millions of individuals who may suffer from sexual dysfunctions. Additionally, the concluded results appeared to be ambiguous, and provided little supporting evidence of the author's hypothesis.

In contrast to the ambiguous results, I am pleased to note that the article dealt almost exclusively with my chosen subject of orgasmic disorders. "Male and female orgasm disorders were studied in 87% of the studies (79% of all participants)." Although I do not feel that this single experiment brought profound improvements to the field orgasmic disorders, it is a step in the right direction to help those individuals who suffer from this disorder, and...
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