Normal sexual function

Roy J. Levin

in New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696758
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743221 | DOI:
Normal sexual function

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Normal human sexual function can be characterized simply by its biological mechanisms which are of obvious importance, not least to reproduction. The mechanisms have changed little over the centuries, but their expression as behaviour, when moulded by historical time, social class, ethnic grouping, religion, and society, creates the changing complex concept of human sexuality. Indeed, it has been said that human sexuality is more about fertilizing relationships than eggs! While we have increased hugely our knowledge about many of the mechanisms involved in human sexuality, the impact of a highly successful oral therapy for erectile dysfunction being an obvious example, those of the brain and spinal cord are practically unexplored. What creates human sexual desire and sexual excitement and what causes them to fade away, where in the brain is the pleasure of orgasms created, why do men have a PERT but not women, are just a few of the fascinating questions that remain to be answered.

Chapter.  9012 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry

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