MBBS Curriculum 2020

Medicalisation of Female Sexual Desire

14 November 2019 - 17:00-18:30

Lecture: Jacob Stegenga, University of Cambridge

Large Committee Room, Hodgkin Building, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

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Description:

Medicalisation is a social phenomenon in which conditions that were once under legal, religious, personal or other jurisdictions are brought into the domain of medical authority. Low sexual desire in females has been medicalised, pathologised as a disease, and intervened upon with a range of pharmaceuticals. There are two polarised positions on the medicalisation of low female sexual desire: I call these the mainstream view and the critical view. I assess the central arguments for both positions. Dividing the two positions are opposing models of the aetiology of low female sexual desire. I conclude by suggesting that the balance of arguments supports a modest defence of the critical view regarding the medicalisation of low female sexual desire.