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 omen 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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