Essay, Research Paper: Sexual Dysfunction In US


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The article being reviewed Is from the February 22, 1999 issue of U.S. News and
World Report. It is titled Not tonight, dear and is written by Wray Herbert. The
article is separated into three parts dealing with sex and marriage, different
statistics between the races, and the treatment of sexual dysfunction. There are
a number of interesting facts in the intro that should be stated before a review
of the articles body commences. The author cites a recent report consisting of
interviews from 3,000 adults about their sexual lives. One of the findings from
the report is that at nearly any given time almost one third of American men and
4 out of 10 American qomen suffer from some sort of sexual dysfunction. The
range of dysfunction being suffered by American adults is a wide one, including
a lack of desire, anxiety about performance, pain during intercourse, and
orgasmic and arousal dysfunctions. The author then states that the contradictory
messages about sexuality in our culture can only be part of the problem and that
emotional and mental illness`s produced by past traumas and set backs are most
likely the major cause of sexual dysfunction. First, there appears to be less
reported cases of sexual dysfunction amongst married men and women than there
are for singles. This sentiment is backed by a survey done by University of
Chicago sociologist Edward Laumann and he concludes that the singles scene is
not as carefree as it is cracked up to be and that sex within the confines of
marriage is less problematic. This conclusion runs counter to the clinical
experience of many sex therapists. Their experiences tend to make them think
that many people in relationships are deeply committed to each other, however
the are not in fact satisfied by their sexual relationships because the lack the
desire to have sex. The issue of the inverse nature of male and female sexuality
is also discussed, It seems that when they are younger men have a stronger
desire for sexual contact and women have a higher incidence of sexual
dysfunctions. These statistics reverse themselves in older people, when the
incedences of dysfunction are higher for males and the desire for sexual contact
is stronger in females. Secondly, in this article the levels of dysfunction and
satisfaction is applied to different ethnicities. The three different races that
were polled in this article were blacks, whites and Hispanics. In terms of
sexual dysfunction, blacks reported higher occurrences of it, followed by whites
and hispanics reported the lowest instances of dysfunction. Black women were
most likely to report having low sexual desire low amounts of pleasure from sex,
once again followed by white women. Hispanic women apparently have the most
satisfying sex, because they consistently came in at the bottom of the survey
for sexual dysfunction. In trying to explain or find a cause for sexual
dysfunction most psychologist will point the finger in the direction of
depression. It is thought that not just clinical depression but even less severe
forms of it like dysthymia can negatively affect sexual functioning.
Furthermore, many psychiatrist think that the root of most sexual dysfunctions
lays in some other psychological dysfunction. Lastly, the article addresses the
different ways to treat sexual dysfunction. The issue of prescribing Viagra to
men wit erictile dysfunction is critiqued on the basis that some other
psychological disorder might be the cause of sexual dysfunction. If this is true
then many professionals think that giving the drug to men doesn`t really get to
the root of the problem. They would rather have the primary disorder, like
depression, treated instead of treating symptoms if the secondary disorder, like
erectile dysfunction treated. Another aspect of our culture that might be adding
to our dysfunctions are an adherence to antiquated stereotypical sex roles and
the visual bombardments of an oversexed media.
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