Current conceptualizations of sexual dysfunction: A review and an alternative perspective


Current conceptualizations of sexual dysfunctions are reviewed, focusing upon the disorders of arousal (male erectile impotency and female anorgasmia) and their treatment. The centrality of the concept of anxiety is illustrated in clinical reports and critiqued in light of current theoretical accounts of anxiety from related literature. Direct and indirect empirical evidence is reviewed, exploring the role of anxiety as a maintaining f actor in these dysfunctions. Finally, an alternative perspective is presented, drawing a parallel between operative processes in the arousal disorders and social phobia, and deliniating relevant cognitive factors such as detraction and attentional focus. Suggestions for empirical study are offered and implications for treatment discussed. © 1984.

Publication Title

Clinical Psychology Review