An In-Depth Look into Sexual Disorders and Gender Identity Disorder
By Ryan Barlow
Copyright 2007, 2012 Ryan Barlow
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A sexual dysfunction is a disruption of any part of the normal sexual response cycle. Problems in sexual functioning, such as premature ejaculation, low sexual desire, and difficulties achieving orgasm are quite common in our society. To be diagnosed as a dysfunction, the disruption must be recurrent and persistent. The DMS-IV-TR also says that such factors as frequency, chronicity, subjective distress, and effects on other areas of functioning be considered in the diagnosis. The DSM-IV-TR categorizes sexual dysfunctions as sexual desire disorders, sexual arousal disorders, orgasmic disorders, and sexual pain disorders.
Sexual desire disorders are characterized by a lack of sexual desire. There are two types: hypoactive sexual desire disorder, characterized by little or no interest in sexual activities either actual or fantasized, and sexual aversion disorder, characterized by an avoidance and aversion to sexual intercourse. Both of these disorders can be lifelong or acquired and may be due to psychological or a combination of psychological and biological factors. Some people may report low sexual desire due to inexperience. Many of these people may have not learned to identify their own arousal levels, or may not know how to increase their arousal. About 20 percent of the adult population is believed to be suffering from hypoactive sexual disorder. This breaks down to 20 to 35 percent of women and 15 percent of men at any given time. It is currently the most common complaint of couples seeking sex therapy. Although people with sexual desire disorders often are able to achieve orgasm, they claim to have little interest in, or derive no pleasure from sexual activity. People suffering from sexual aversion disorder go a step further and find sex unpleasant or repulsive. Some are repulsed by certain acts, while others avoid all acts completely. Most cases of aversion disorder are thought to be caused primarily from sociocultural and psychological factors, but biology may also play a role.