Psychosexual Development, Intersex States, and Sexual Dysfunctions

  • Rafael Segarra-EchebarríaEmail author
  • Clara Isern-Tena
  • Silvia Cañas-Jiménez
  • Gabriela González-Rodriguez


Within human sexuality, three basic pillars are entwined, mainly biological factors; individual personality or psychosexuality, which encompasses the sexual identity of the concerned subject, as well as the interaction and conveyance of the different affections to the closest beings (together with the relational aspects derived) and the life circumstances at each particular moment; and the sociocultural environment in which it is lived.

The sexual development of an individual bears a resemblance with a relay race: in a chronological sequence, genetic and chromosomal influences, hormonal, environmental, and psychosocial factors will appear. Each of them, regardless of the opinion of different authors and schools, will play the main role in certain moments, although in the end all will have needed the others to achieve the ultimate goal of a grown and sexually mature and healthy individual (according to an interactionist model), which in his turn will lead to the enhancement of the personal identity (therein included the sexual identity and narcissism itself).

Sexuality is therefore a more general phenomenon than plain physical sex. In that regard, it is worth noting a curious paradox: human sexual behavior is scarcely known, at least from a scientific perspective and through epidemiological and gender-relevant designed and controlled studies.

Finally, intersex states and sexual dysfunctions represent a group of heterogeneous disorders and include an array of processes, which affect the general population, generating a high impact at the life quality and interpersonal relationship levels, and they will be analyzed from a multidimensional and not only DSM-5 perspective.


Psychosexual development Sexual differentiation Genitalia Sexual behavior Intersex states Third sex Queer theory Gender differences Sexual dysfunctions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Segarra-Echebarría
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Clara Isern-Tena
    • 5
  • Silvia Cañas-Jiménez
    • 6
  • Gabriela González-Rodriguez
    • 6
  1. 1.Cruces University HospitalBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.University Basque Country (UPV/EHU)LeioaSpain
  3. 3.BioCRUCES-BioBIZKAIA Research InstituteBilbaoSpain
  4. 4.CIBERSAMMadridSpain
  5. 5.Sant Joan de Déu Manresa University HospitalBarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Insular Maternal and Child University Hospital ComplexGran CanariaSpain

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