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    Sexual Disorders

    Sexual disorders cover a wide range of topics, including sexual dysfunctions, paraphilias, and disorders related to gender identity.

    In terms of sexual dysfunctions, problems can include sexual desire disorders, such as sexual aversion disorder and hypoactive sexual desire disorder, in which people seem to have no desire for sex or try to distance themselves from sexual activity. Sexual arousal disorders, including female sexual arousal disorder and the more well-known male erectile disorder, involves an issue with becoming aroused during sex, such as inadequate lubrication for women and inability to have an erection or maintain it for men. Orgasmic disorders involve problems with reaching the orgasm stage in the sexual response cycle or reaching that stage too quickly, such as in premature ejaculation. Other orgasmic disorders include female orgasmic disorder and male orgasmic disorder. Lastly, issues involving pain due to sexual intimacy are called sexual pain disorders and include dyspareunia and vaginismus.

    Peeping Tom. Image credit: Rebecca Chatfield

    Paraphilias describe individuals who experience intense arousal and attraction for things that are not seen as typically arousing. Such disorders include exhibitionism (arousal by someone showing their genitals to an involuntary person), fetishism (arousal by an inanimate object, such as shoes), transvestic fetishim (arousal by a heterosexual man dressing in women's clothing), frotteurism (arousal by someone rubbing themselves on an involuntary person), pedophilia (arousal through sexual activities with minors), sexual masochism (arousal through the experience of pain and punishment), sexual sadism (arousal through giving pain and punishment), and voyeurism (arousal by watching involuntary naked which involve non-consenting people being exposed to an unwelcome sexual activity is illegal and can result in imprisonment and/or fines.

    Lastly, gender identity disorder involves an individual feeling as if they were born into the wrong body and should be the opposite, or no, gender. In these cases, the individual may feel very strongly about this and experience dysfunction in relation to the disorder and therefore seek out gender reassignment surgery. However, in recent years there has been debate on the ethics of calling these as mental disorders, not dissimilar to the debate which led to homosexuality being declassified as a disorder.

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