The Medicalization of Sexuality


I subscribe to a publication referred to as “Alternet,” which sends me all kinds of articles on all types of up to date topics. An article by JoAnn Wypijewski for “The Nation,” on September 21 caught my consideration. Her topic, “Why Is Massive Pharma Making an attempt to Inform You How one can Have Intercourse?” acquired me reflecting concerning the “medicalization” of the human situation. Any physique half may be the goal of a brand new pharmaceutical product, if we’re uncomfortable with what it does naturally, we need to improve it or we’re afraid it is not “performing” because it “must be.”

I keep in mind studying in graduate faculty that “the sinus headache,” was not initially a medical situation, however as an alternative a advertising alternative seized upon by the producers of a product in search of a market. In the present day, “sinus headache,” is widespread language, and other people affiliate it with the cluster of signs for which they purchase the product.

Wypijewski notes, “Intercourse has been lacking from the healthcare debate. A disgrace, as a result of sexual well being, and disputes over its which means, reveals most nakedly the issue on the core of a medical system that requires revenue, big revenue, therefore illness, or individuals who can come to consider they’re sick or deformed or missing and subsequently, in want of a capsule, a process or gadget.”

We’re all accustomed to the initials ED, which are not simply an abbreviation for the graduate faculty of schooling one may need attended or contemplate attending. Now that my thirteen yr previous son is collaborating within the OWL (an acronym for Our Entire Lives) program, which is a part of the Coming of Age program developed and provided by Unitarian church buildings, I ponder whether “erectile dysfunction” will probably be a part of the dialogue in exploring Love, Intimacy, Sexuality and Relationships. Since Viagra, Levitra and Cialis promote fervently throughout soccer video games, and what number of soccer video games may a thirteen yr previous boy have watched in his lifetime… is ED not part of the teenage vernacular lengthy earlier than a younger boy or woman has skilled their first kiss?

“Feminine sexual dysfunction” or FSD to offer it an acronym, is claimed to afflict a minimum of forty three % of the feminine inhabitants, 70 % in response to some others says Wypijewski. May this “epidemic” not recommend new pharmaceutical merchandise to spice up bed room expertise?

What I discover unhappy, is that in our tradition of medicalization and prescription drugs, we lose contact with the truth that many human processes and experiences are pure, sacred, and issues of the thoughts and coronary heart. Our feelings impression our biochemistry. And the human physique is a pure pharmacy all by itself. The guts secretes its personal hormone. If we scale back our lengthy-time period stress, and produce much less of the lengthy-time period stress or worry hormone, cortisol, we begin to counter lots of right now’s widespread ills.

If we chill out, meditate, share our true emotions with a protected and respectful listener, hug our family members, pet our canine or cat, go to the health club, and attempt to stay a life aligned with our values, our our bodies produce extra of the love or bonding hormone, oxytocin, which counters the unfavourable well being results of cortisol and delivers an entire laundry record of well being advantages, together with higher coronary heart well being and elevated sexual receptivity.

Being sexually open, energized and receptive for each men and women, does require no less than a level of emotional security and reference to one’s associate, if sexuality goes to be something greater than a primal urge fulfilled via the modern “hook up.” Understanding how you can contact ourselves and a beloved one takes time, which we frequently do not have, area, which is usually impinged upon by a number of competing wants and experimentation to study what feels good the place and the way we’re every uniquely wired

I’ve all the time felt that sexuality is soul power trade, and which suggests a depth of reference to one’s personal coronary heart and physique, and the guts and physique of 1’s associate. May emotional security, religious reference to self and one’s associate, and luxury and alternative to see what feels genuinely good contribute to each female and male sexual “perform” if we should medicalize the language we use to explain what can also be referred to as “making love?”

Thoughts you, for these circumstances the place well being points are certainly the predominant problem, and all of the emotional security, loving contact and religious connection on the planet can solely “open the door” to sexual union, however not permit full communion, a few of at present’s pharmaceutical choices are certainly helpful.

Nevertheless, I feel the hazard is that we overlook that “little blue tablets,” or their brothers and maybe even sisters, are “instruments” so as to add to the very human and relational sexual cauldron, quite than grocery store necessities like milk, bread and broccoli. Sexuality could be a huge expanse of significant and enriching human expertise, and as my mentor Stan Dale used to say, “extra than simply wiggle, wiggle pop.”

We have now barely scratched the floor of our sexual-religious potential. Might we not get misplaced within the development of medicalization and dysfunction identification, in order that we deepen our consolation with our our bodies and the dance of life power in our our bodies, which is with us from the second we’re born to the second we die.

©2009 Linda Marks