The Politics of Women's Health
Female Sexual Dysfunction: A Feminist View
Many of us have strong ideas about how much desire we think we “should” have. Movies, television shows and magazines often portray women as highly sexual. Drug companies and the popular media capitalize on these images and bombard us with messages about how to increase our sexual appetites. While these portrayals are accurate for some of us, they represent only a narrow slice of the wide range of women’s experiences. Paradoxically, while desire is supposed to be invisible in girls, pharmaceutical companies (and medical researchers often hired by those companies) have begun to define low sexual desire in women as a medical disorder deserving of medical treatment. Yet what they label a disorder may, in fact, be a variation in sexual desire.
We’ve posted several articles that explore the issue in-depth. A New View of Women's Sexual Problems looks at the limitations of the medical model of women’s sexual problems, while Feminists Fight Drug Companies Over Vision of Women’s Sexuality explores one woman’s attempt to understand how and why drug companies pathologize women’s sexualiy. Also check out The Making of a Disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction an indepth article from the British Medical Journal. (2003-- free) and The Marketing of a Disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction (2005 -- available for a fee) and the website Fsd-alert.org.
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