PSYC 235 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Fetus, Erotophobia, Dyspareunia

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7 Apr 2015

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Chapter 10 – Sexual Disorders and Gender Identity Disorder
-Gender Identity Disorder: psychological dissatisfaction with his/her biological
sex. A disturbance in one’s identity as a male or female
-Sexual Dysfunction: find it difficult to function adequately during sex
-Paraphilia: sexual arousal occurs primarily in the context on inappropriate
objects or individuals
What is Normal?
Gender Differences
- “sexual self schemas”  women tend to feel more embarrassed or self-conscious
of their sexuality. Men do not generally possess negative beliefs about their
- Sexual attraction and behaviour is closely tied to evolution
oGood looking males have more sperm
oFemales with good looking bodies are more fertile
Cultural Differences
- what is normal sexual behaviour in one country may not be normal in another.
This must be considered when diagnosing a sexual disorder
The Development of Sexual Orientation
- homosexuality runs in families  possible gene on the X chromosome
- actual structure of the brain may be different in homosexuals than heterosexuals
- homosexuals have a greater chance of being left-handed than heterosexuals
- Homosexuality requires an interplay with biological, psychological, and
environmental factors. Rarely is it caused by just one
- Males growing up with older brothers are more likely to be homosexual  each
additional older brother increased the odds of homosexuality by 1/3
- “exotic is erotic”
Gender Identity Disorder
- sense of being male or female typically formed by age 3 or 4
- Gender Identity Disorder: occurs if a persons physical gender is inconsistent with
their sense of identity
- Primary goal is not sexual, but rather to live life openly in a manner consistent
with that of the other gender
- Not all gender disordered individuals are attracted to the same sex. In fact, the
majority of male-to-female individuals are heterosexual
- 3 times more likely to occur in males than in females
- genetic vulnerability
- slightly higher levels of testosterone or estrogen during critical periods of
development might masculinize a female or feminize a male fetus
-Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH): when brains of females (fetus) are
flooded with male hormones, which among other results, produce mostly
masculine external genitalia, although internal organs (ovaries, etc.) remain
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- Other factors that may lead to effeminate boys: excessive attention and physical
contact by mother, lack of male playmates during early years, mother wanting a
girl and thus treating the boy in a feminine way
-sex reassignment surgery: altering the anatomy physically to be consistent with
the identity
oto qualify for this surgery, individual must live in the opposite sex role for
1-2 years so they can be sure they want a sex change (ex. Male wanting a
sex change to a woman must live as a woman for 2 years first)
ohormones given, body parts removed/added
- Treatment of Intersexuality (hermaphrodites)
oReconsidering giving the baby a specific gender early on. Rather, wait
until they can be sure the baby will adopt one particular gender identity
before performing the irreversible surgery
- Psychosocial Treatment
oTherapy can be used to teach an individual how to think/act as only one
gender. (ex. By teaching them how to act solely masculine, and be
attracted only to women  this takes time but can be effective)
oUsually used if surgery options are not available
Sexual Dysfunctions: Clinical Descriptions
- 3 stages of the sexual response cycle: desire, arousal, and orgasm
- only 2 sexual dysfunctions are sex specific: premature ejaculation and vaginismus
(painful contraction of the vagina during attempted penetration)
- can be lifelong or acquired
- can be general (with all partners) or situational (with only some partners)
- can be either psychological, or psychological mixed with a medical condition
Sexual Desire Disorders
- Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
oLittle or not interest in any type of sexual activity
oVery common, especially in women
- Sexual Aversion Disorder
oThe thought of sex or a brief touch may evoke fear, panic, or disgust
oMay actually be a panic disorder, with an alarm response associated with
the physical sensations of sex
oMajorly occurs in women
oBasically anxiety or panic focused on sexual activity
- Sexual Arousal Disorders
oMale erectile disorder & female sexual arousal disorder
oDifficulty maintaining erection/lubrication
oMore often than not, men can still achieve erections during masturbation,
just not during attempted sex
oMore common in men, because many women don’t consider absence of
arousal a problem
- Orgasm Disorders
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