Sexual problems

Sexual problems may present in various medical settings: primary care, general or specialist psychiatric practice, gynaecology, urology, and genitourinary medicine (GUM), as well as in non-health settings such as Relate (formerly the Marriage Guidance Council). Whether or not certain variants of sexual behaviour or function are perceived as 'problems' will depend on the expectations, and moral values, of the individual and of his or her social group. Topics in this chapter are arranged as follows:

• sexual dysfunctions, in which sexual performance fails to satisfy the subject or partner

• sexual deviations, in which sexual practice departs from convention in a way that distresses the subject or offends others

• gender-identity disorders

• homosexuality, which is not a disorder, but is conveniently considered here.

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