Sexual Dysfunction Essays

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A vast amount of men and women suffer from some type of sexual dysfunction. Researchers have identified a number of factors that may contribute to or perpetuate sexual dysfunction, including, but not limited to, performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is defined as an obsession about the adequate pleasing of one’s partner during the act of sexual intercourse. Rather than focusing on the pleasurable benefits that one can receive from intercourse, the individual experiencing performance anxiety is focused on how well he or she is performing (McCabe, 2005). Oftentimes, someone who suffers from a sexual dysfunction experiences increased performance anxiety because he or she feels that the dysfunction inhibits performance, thus they think the sex is not satisfactory for their partner.
Because a relationship is proposed to exist between dysfunction and performance anxiety, researchers believe that performance anxiety can either be the reason a sexual dysfunction arises or that it further exacerbates the problem. For example, a male who suffers from erectile dysfunction worries about his ability to achieve and maintain an erection during intercourse. He becomes so focused on whether or not he will be able to achieve an erection, that his ability to perform is even further diminished by his increased level of performance anxiety. Likewise, a female who suffers from a dysfunction in which she experiences difficulty in reaching orgasm might worry that her partner is tired or bored with trying to help her reach her climax or that she is taking too long to reach climax (McCabe, 2005).
While there has been substantial research on how performance anxiety is related to
erectile dysfunction in men, previous studies have failed to address how...

... middle of paper ...

...d sex in general (McCabe, 2005). Since correlation does not necessarily imply causation, there is speculation about whether or not performance anxiety is the root cause for sexual dysfunction. However, given the results of the surveys, it could be said that regardless of the etiology of sexual dysfunction, performance anxiety is further exacerbating the problem in both sexes. As a dysfunction becomes apparent, the sufferer more closely monitors his or her performance, which causes more anxiety when negative effects are experienced. This focus and anxiety, paired with the dysfunction in general, all feed off of one another and hinder sexual intercourse (McCabe, 2005).

Works Cited

McCabe, M.P. (2005). The role of performance anxiety in the development and maintenance of sexual dysfunction in men and women. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(4), 379-388.

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