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Social Psychology

Explain the causes of two sexual issues or dysfunctions that may affect relationships.
Explain the potential impact of each of these sexual issues or dysfunctions on a relationship, both intimately and overall.
Explain how the life cycle of a sexual relationship and where a couple is positioned in the life cycle of their sexual relationship may interact with or mitigate each of these issues.

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(a) Explain the causes of two sexual issues or dysfunctions that may affect relationships

Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-IV-TR [APA], 2000) criteria, "A sexual dysfunction is characterized by a disturbance in the processes that characterize the sexual response cycle or by pain associated with sexual intercourse." (p. 545). In addition, features in the DSM-IV-TR related to sexual dysfunction may be associated with specific moods and/or anxiety disorders. Several factors contribute to the etiology of sexual dysfunction including: (a) mistaken beliefs and misinformation (b) shame or guilt, (c) fear, and (d) physical or medical problems.

One sexual dysfunction is that of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is described as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. Among the causes cited for erectile dysfunction is testosterone deficiency or hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is stated to affect 1.7% to 35% in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED). In addition age is a factor that links ED to deficiencies in testosterone (Jacob, 2011). Research is presented that shows ED involves a variety of biological and psychological factors including brain functions that ...

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