In this report, journalist Brian Deer looks into a new "disorder" that basically boils down to "women not being interested in sex."
I love the opening lines:
One way for drug companies to maximise profits is to encourage prescribing of their products to people who don't need them. Another, more daring, approach is to create new medical conditions...
The diagnosis of "sexual interest disorder" might apply to you if you're a woman who is not, at the moment, interested in sex.
Yes, that definition is exactly as retarded as it sounds. The point of the article is that new conditions are defined to drive pharma sales, and then pharma money in turn feeds back into the type of research that is done. Thus, the many reasons you might not be interested in sex -- perhaps you're busy on a really exciting project at work, perhaps your guy's a jerk, perhaps you need more sleep, perhaps it's just not important to you right now -- are ignored in favor of a pharmaceutical solution.
I am hardly opposed to pharm interventions. I like medications; they recently kept my neck from spasming indefinitely. But this is a good example of commercial interests driving medical research in a distinctly unwholesome direction. The real kicker on this whole story is that the "need" for widespread treatment for this condition is based on a solid misinterpreting of one sociological study.
Here's the work as quoted by Dr. Sandra Leiblum:
"Especially remarkable was the finding that one out of three women said they were uninterested in sex."
We'll leave the issue of whether or not that's remarkable aside. But consider the actual question asked by Dr. Edward Laumann in the study being cited:
"During the past 12 months, has there ever been a period of several months or more when you lacked interest in having sex?"
Somehow, that doesn't instantly translate into the absolute "one out of three" Dr. Leiblum threw out above. What portion of the sample set had kids? What portion had long work hours? What portion was single? (...and so on.)
Any female thoughts on this?
2005-06-07 06:03 am UTC (link) DeleteFreezeScreen Select
This new disorder has the added bonus of comforting thousands upon thousands of guys in bars who hit on women without results. "Man, she totally had 'sexual interest disorder."
(Reply to this)
2005-06-07 04:43 pm UTC (link) DeleteFreezeScreen Select
not to mention that people are really bad at tracking things over prolonged periods of time. they're really unreliable for things longer than a month.
and really.... who thinking of this as a disorder? the men that are with these women or the women that are supposedly affected?