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Problems of sexual desire are often cited as the most prevalent of the female sexual dysfunctions. Despite this finding, considerable variability exists when comparing prevalence figures across studies, highlighting the inconsistency in how these problems are defined and therefore measured. The current study was designed to determine how the prevalence estimates of women's sexual desire problems varied according to the diagnostic criteria adopted to define such problems. The sample consisted of 741 women from Australia, the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Participants were between 18 and 71 years of age and were involved in a heterosexual relationship spanning between 3 months and 49 years duration. Sexual desire problems were defined using a variety of criteria, including (1) meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), (2) meeting DSM-IV-TR criteria for HSDD, removing the sexual thoughts/fantasy requirement, (3) self-identified "lack of sexual interest," and (4) low average ratings of sexual desire levels, as assessed using the Female Sexual Desire Questionnaire. The prevalence of sexual desire problems varied from 3.0 to 31.0 % depending upon the criteria used to define such problems. It is important to reach a consensus with regard to the criteria used to define sexual desire problems, in order to standardize and compare studies investigating these problems. How women's sexual desire problems are conceptualized has implications for their treatment. Therapists may or may not need to address absent sexual thoughts/fantasies and may be working with low normative levels of desire versus subjective evaluations of low desire.
School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Melbourne, VIC, 3125, Australia, email@example.com.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Archives of sexual behavior
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Disturbances in sexual desire and the psychophysiologic changes that characterize the sexual response cycle and cause marked distress and interpersonal difficulty. (APA, DSM-IV, 1994)
A large group of diseases which are characterized by a low prevalence in the population. They frequently are associated with problems in diagnosis and treatment.
Full gratification of a need or desire followed by a state of relative insensitivity to that particular need or desire.
A form of discrimination in the workplace which violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment takes two forms: quid pro quo, where the employee must submit to sexual advances in exchange for job benefits or be penalized for refusing; or a hostile environment, where the atmosphere of the workplace is offensive and affects the employee's well-being. Offensive sexual conduct may include unwelcome advances, comments, touching, questions about marital status and sex practices, etc. Both men and women may be aggressors or victims. (Slee and Slee, Health Care Terms, 2d ed, p.404). While civil rights legislation deals with sexual harassment in the workplace, the behavior is not restricted to this; it may take place outside the work environment: in schools and colleges, athletics, and other social milieus and activities.
Advice and support given to individuals to help them understand and resolve their sexual adjustment problems. It excludes treatment for PSYCHOSEXUAL DISORDERS or PSYCHOSEXUAL DYSFUNCTION.
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