Sexual dysfunctionalso called Psychosexual Dysfunctionthe inability of a person to experience sexual arousal or to achieve sexual satisfaction under appropriate circumstances, as a result of either physical disorder or, more commonly, psychological problems.
The most common forms of sexual dysfunction have traditionally been classified as impotence inability of a man to achieve or maintain penile erection and frigidity inability of a woman to achieve arousal or orgasm during sexual intercourse.
Because these terms—impotence and frigidity—have developed pejorative and misleading connotationsthey are no longer used as scientific classifications, having been superseded by more specific terms; however, both terms remain in common usage, with a variety of meanings and associations see frigidity ; impotence.
Appropriate sex therapydesigned to help the individual relax in his or her sexual
Psychosexual dysfunction with inhibited sexual excitement, can often overcome the anxiety and eliminate the dysfunction, although the success of such therapy varies markedly among the various dysfunctions and among individual patients. When a specific physical condition predisposes to the dysfunction, it must be treated medically; alcoholism and endocrine or neurological disorders are among the common physical causes of sexual dysfunction.
Sexual dysfunctions that are secondary to more severe psychological or personality disorders may require specific psychotherapy. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is Psychosexual dysfunction with inhibited sexual excitement to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions.
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The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Frigidityin psychology, the inability of a woman to attain orgasm during sexual intercourse.
In popular, nonmedical usage Psychosexual dysfunction with inhibited sexual excitement word has been used traditionally to describe a variety of behaviours, ranging from general coldness of manner or lack of interest in physical affection to aversion to the act of sexual…. In its broadest sense the term impotence refers to the inability to become sexually aroused; in this sense it can apply to women as well as to men.
In common practice, however, the term has traditionally been used to describe only male sexual…. Disorders are generally physical rather than psychological. Dyspareunia may be caused by inflammation or infection of the vagina, vaginismus q.
Vaginismus is a sexual dysfunction resulting from physiological factors, such as sexual trauma, abuse, or anxiety experienced at the prospect of sexual intercourse. Vaginismus can totally prevent coitus or make it extremely painful, a condition known as dyspareunia.