Experimental Models in Sexual Medicine: Eight Best Practices

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Book chapter/entry

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The experimental study of sexual response and problems in the mentally ill draws on the same principles and procedures common to other fields of experimental investigation. At the same time, this field presents several special challenges to investigators, including examining matters that are both private (sexuality) and stigmatizing (mental illness). In this chapter, we discuss a number of ideas that will help ensure high-quality research in the field by identifying eight best practices, beginning with posing research questions and ending with drawing appropriate conclusions. Within this discussion, examples are included so the strengths and limitations of the experimental research process become apparent. In addition, we discuss several caveats so as to steer investigators away from some of the more common pitfalls in research implementation. Although this chapter does not attempt to provide an exhaustive review of issues related to experimental research methodology, investigators might want to consider the best practices herein, along with concepts presented in Chap. 4, as an initial step toward transforming ideas into solid research protocols relating sexual dysfunction to mental illness.


Book chapter in Sexual Dysfunctions in Mentally Ill Patients. EA Jannini & A Siracusano (eds) Springer Nature, 2018, pp 5-32.