The Enigma of Sexual Desire, Part 2: Theoretical, Scientific, and Medical Perspectives

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Current Sexual Health Reports






In this two-part series, we review various perspectives of non-science writers (Part 1) and then, in this second part, beginning with the late nineteenth century, of scientists and medical professionals (psychologists, physicians, etc.). In this part, we focus on various scientific approaches and models regarding the nature of sexual desire, including its role in engendering sexual and non-sexual responses. We show that most of the current thinking regarding sexual desire is founded upon these previous models and that, in reality, the development of this construct has progressed little over the past quarter century. The relatively recent notion of low sexual desire as being a problem or even dysfunction is considered, as we, in the final section, attempt not only to synthesize the many perspectives of this construct but also to discuss its future direction.