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Sexual Dysfunctions and Deviations

  • Caroline F. PukallEmail author
  • Marta Meana
  • Yolanda Fernandez
Chapter

Abstract

According to the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000), sexual dysfunctions are characterized by disturbances in the psychophysiological processes that characterize the sexual response cycle or by pain associated with sexual intercourse. The sexual response cycle, as defined by the DSM-IV-TR, is divided into four phases: (1) desire, which consists of fantasies about and the wish to have sexual activity; (2) excitement, which manifests as a subjective sense of sexual pleasure and associated physiological changes (e.g., vaginal lubrication and expansion in females, penile tumescence and erection in males); (3) orgasm, which reflects the peak of sexual activity and consists of the release of sexual tension and the rhythmic contraction of the perineal/anal sphincter muscles and reproductive organs; and (4) resolution, which indicates a sense of muscular relaxation and general well-being.

The first three stages of the sexual response cycle (desire, excitement, and orgasm) form the basis for most of the sexual dysfunctions as defined by the DSM-IV-TR. Although there are no dysfunctions associated with the resolution phase, the sexual pain disorders category contains a description of two disorders that can potentially interfere with sexual functioning in general. Clinically, it is apparent that there is a high comorbidity among the sexual dysfunctions such that a problem at any one stage of the sexual response cycle is likely to lead to difficulties with other stages. For example, a patient presenting with erectile difficulties may also experience problems with orgasm and desire. However, sound empirical data on comorbidities are lacking (Meana, Binik, & Thaler, 2008). The DSM-IV-TR states that when more than one sexual dysfunction is present, all should be recorded (APA, 2000).

Keywords

Sexual Function Sexual Dysfunction Sexual Satisfaction Sexual Offense Premature Ejaculation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline F. Pukall
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marta Meana
    • 2
  • Yolanda Fernandez
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NevadaLas VegasUSA
  3. 3.Sex Offender Assessment UnitMillhaven InstitutionBathCanada

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