Mainstream media and popular imagination seem to suggest that only one gender monopolizes the field of sexual perversion, debauchery, and disorders. While perhaps the male gender has an iron grip on sexual dysfunctions in popular imagination, in reality, females are increasingly joining their male counterparts in opening up about their own sexual dysfunctions and exploring the psychosexual disorders. For many years, females have been straight jacketed from engaging their concerns and anxieties that they are as vulnerable to as male. Whether because of cultural factors or lack of access to proper information, it has been a taboo for females to discuss their individual psychosexual disorders, even if the disorders are highly common. However, the times are changing, and scientific knowledge of the different types of recognized psychosexual disorders in women are now being dealt with the same care and caution as their male counterparts.
Psychosexual disorders come in several forms. Sexual perversions, for example, involve projecting strong sexual desires towards an unusual situations or objects. While many of these fetishes of “pecialization”, from bestiality to necrophilia to pedophilia, are largely intertwined with males, the minority of females who suffer from sexual perversions should not be ignored either. Adequate research will reveal that females are highly engaged in these communities too – with the same obsessions and urges as those commonly associated with males.
What this suggests is two fold: first, that the psychological angle of these sexual perversions should not be ignored; and second, that the behavioral effects manifest themselves in similar ways in both sexes. Perhaps the disproportionate ratio of gender open about their sexual perversions may partly be a result of the greater stigmatization and demonization towards female who do enjoy such activities but wish not to shine a light on them self. By contrast, the banality of male suffering from these psychosexual disorders are taken into higher consideration and given greater attention.
Another category of psychosexual disorders in women is gender identity disorders. This is characterized by individuals who want to be members of the opposite sex. While it is difficult to approximate any statistic on the number of females who undergo sex change operations to become male in body, the story of Thomas Beatie – the first transgender “male” who became pregnant – suggests that it is not as uncommon as once believed. Although psychological studies on female gender identity disorders is very inadequate, the main idea is that the women who have a mother unable to emotionally attach and a father engaging in activities with her that promote masculine behaviour may have gender identity disorders.
It is sexual dysfunctions, the physiological response to psychosexual disorders, that have become the most dominant form of disorder. Gynaecological conditions are now widely considered to be a reaction to environmental and psychological factors, as much as they are biological. For example, the physical pain experienced during penetration, a disorder named dyspareunia, or Vaginismus are usually the result of muscle tension in the vulva. While there are many social and physical layers attached to psychosexual disorders, success rates in psychotherapy suggest that dyspareunia is often rooted in experiences of guilt, shame, pain, or awkwardness psychologically. Studies say the roots may not arise from childhood failures or abuse. But psychological studies in menopausal women indicate that it could be attributed to many possible factors: for example, the shift in social roles pay put extra pressure to focus attention away from the role of a lover and lovemaking, or personal distress that accompanies the time of the life with menopause. These stresses could come even before menopause arrives. For treatment of dyspareunia, examination of all dimensions such as emotional, sexual physiology or neurophysiology is required. Sometimes both psychotherapy and medical treatments are required for dyspareunia.
[ad#downcont]Long overdue, it is increasingly impossible for psychologists and specialists not to include females in the discussion of psychosexual disorders as well as cultural factors and relationship factors in these female sexual dysfunctions. The remedies, such as psychoteherapy or sex therapy, are becoming more inclusive of the psychosexual disorders in women. Psychological studies are beginning to shift their attention to females and the relationships – the differences and similarities – to disorders of men.