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American Women’s Views on Sexual Health Treatment Options

Does society emphasize men’s sexual satisfaction more than the satisfaction of women?

Almost 60% of American women think so, according to a recent poll.

In January, the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) commissioned a survey of over 500 women. The participants answered five questions regarding sexual satisfaction and sexual dysfunction treatments for both men and women.

Almost half the respondents said they thought women’s sexual health treatments lagged decades behind those for men. Thirty-one percent didn’t think this was so and 21% were not sure.

Another survey item pointed out that there are currently 24 drugs approved to treat men’s sexual problems, but none have been approved for women. Did the women think this was appropriate? Fifty-nine percent said no, 27% said yes, and 15% were not sure.

Just over half of the women thought that drug treatments for women’s sexual health should not go be held to stricter approval standards than those for men.

Additionally, almost three-quarters of the women believed that women could discuss the pros and cons of treatments with their doctors just as easily as men could.

In a news release, ISSWSH Secretary Irwin Goldstein commented, "American women see clearly the gender inequity in our country when it comes to the level of importance society places on male vs. female sexual satisfaction – and, as a result, the lack of options women have available for treating sexual dysfunction compared with men."

"Some 16 million American women are impacted by sexual dysfunction and, all too often, their voices are not heard. That must change. Although not all treatments will work equally for everyone, women deserve to have a variety of options available, and we call on all stakeholders – including government regulators – to move the bar of available therapies forward," he added.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling and had a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent.

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Huffington Post

Clayton, Anita H., MD

“The FDA, Sexual Dysfunction and Gender Inequality”

(February 7, 2014)

PR Newswire

“New National Poll: American Women Object to Societal Gender Inequity Regarding Sexual Satisfaction, Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction”

(News release. January 27, 2014)