Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Female Sexual Dysfunction: A Case Study of Disease Mongering and Activist Resistance

The creation and promotion of "female sexual dysfunction" is a textbook case of disease mongering by the pharmaceutical industry and by other agents of medicalization, such as health and science journalists, healthcare professionals, public relations and advertising firms, contract research organizations, and others in the "medicalization industry." Whether one relies on Lynn Payer's original definition of disease mongering ("trying to convince essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill"), her checklist, or the analysis of our pill-popping society that was recently offered by Greg Critser, the sequence of events and cast of participants involved in FSD matches the classic disease-mongering tactics.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Professor Sparks Debate On Treatment Of Sexual Dysfunction

Over the past decade, a little blue pill has transformed how sexual disorders are perceived by doctors, sex therapists and the public at large. But while a Valparaiso University psychologist and leading sex disorder researcher says looking at sexual dysfunction as a medical problem has helped some people seeking help, too often the behavioral and social factors underlying individuals' sexual problems are being ignored.

An article by psychology professor Dr. David Rowland in the newest edition of the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy outlines the negative impacts of an increasing reliance on medication to solve sexual disorders and calls for more comprehensive assessment of those disorders.

Dr. Rowland's article "Will Medical Solutions to Sexual Problems Make Sexological Care and Science Obsolete?" is the lead article in the journal, with the rest of the issue 16 commentaries by international experts in sexual medicine responding to it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vacuum Constriction Devices

The curative application of negative pressure was well established in 19th century medicine. M. Junod used a "Vacuum Exhausting Receiver" to apply negative suction to different areas of the human body including the extremities in order to heal conditions like headache, vertigo or menstruation problems.

By stating that "the glass exhauster should be carefully applied to the part, once a day" the American physician John King was the first to suggest a contnuous and repeated application of a vacuum device to the penis for the cure of impotence in 1874. The Viennese physician Otto Lederer made the signficant improvement of adding a compression ring to the use of the vacuum device to facilitate an odemand erection. His "device for the artificial eretion of the penis" was patented in Germany in 1913 and four years later in the US a patent was issued.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Future Of Male Contraception

For decades, pundits have predicted new contraceptives for men within the next 5 to 10 years. Are we really getting any closer? Judging from work presented at the second "Future of Male Contraception" conference, the answer may finally be yes.

But will men actually use a new method if researchers make one? Elaine Lissner, director of the nonprofit Male Contraception Information Project, says demand is the least of the problems. "You'll never have all men interested, but attitudes have really changed - studies consistenly show a majority of men would consider it. You have to remember, between condoms and vasectomy, men in the U.S. are already taking care of a third of contraception. Just imagine if they had another non-permanent option."