Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Low Sexual Desire in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Kristin M. BennionEmail author
  • Natasha Helfer-Parker
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_435

Name of Concept

Low Sexual Desire in Couple and Family Therapy

Synonyms

Drive; Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder; Inhibited Sexual Desire Disorder; Libido

Introduction

Inhibited sexual desire or conflicts over desire discrepancies are some of the most common complaints that sex therapists report seeing come through their offices. Defining “low” or “high” sexual desire can be inherently problematic, as most couples are already using each other’s desire level as a yardstick for comparison and many therapists become complicit in accepting the couple’s definitions as sufficient assessment to move ahead with treatment. Often, the lower desire partner is partner-labeled or assumes the responsibility of having something “wrong” with them (e.g., frigid, broken, puritanical, sexually inhibited, boring, non-adventurous). The higher desire partner can also be subject to negative labels (e.g., hypersexual, perverse, horny, “only wants sex,” selfish). With so many couples wanting to better...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, text revision.Google Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Basson, R. (2002). Rethinking low sexual desire in women. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 109, 357–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Biddle, A. K., West, S. L., D’Aloisio, A. A., Wheeler, S. B., Borisova, N. N., & Thorp, J. (2009). Hypoactive sexual desire disorder in postmenopausal women: Quality of life and health burden. Value in Health, 12, 763–762.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Brotto, L. A. (2010a). The DSM diagnostic criteria for hypoactive sexual desire disorder in men. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7, 2015–2030.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Brotto, L. A. (2010b). The DSM diagnostic criteria for hypoactive sexual desire disorder in women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39(2), 221–239.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Brotto, L. A., Basson, R., & Luria, M. (2008). A mindfulness-based group psychoeducational intervention targeting sexual arousal disorder in women. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5, 1646–1659.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Hawton, K., Catalan, J., Martin, P., & Fagg, J. (1986). Long-term outcome of sex therapy. Behavioral Research and Therapy, 24, 665–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kaplan, H. S. (1977). Hypoactive sexual desire. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 3(1), 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kingsberg, S. A., & Woodard, T. (2015). Female sexual dysfunction: Focus on low desire. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 125(2), 447–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McCarthy, B., & McCarthy, E. (2013). Rekindling desire [kindle version]. London, England: Routledge. Retrieved from Amazon.com.Google Scholar
  13. Nagoski, E. (2015). Come as you are: The surprising new science that will transform your sex life. NYC, New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  14. Seagraves, R., & Woodard, T. (2006). Female hypoactive sexual desire disorder: History and current status. Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology, 3, 408–418.Google Scholar
  15. Sungur, M. Z., & Gündüz, A. (2014). A comparison of DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 definitions for sexual dysfunctions: Critiques and challenges. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11, 364–373.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jsm.12379.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Trudela, G. M., Ravartb, M., Aubinb, S., Turgeonb, L., & Fortierb, P. (2001). The effect of a cognitive-behavioral group treatment program on hypoactive sexual desire in women. Sex Related Therapy, 16, 145–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California Institute of Integral StudiesSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Intimate Connections CounselingOremUSA
  3. 3.Symmetry SolutionsWichitaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  • Allen Sabey
    • 2
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA