In the article “In Pursuit of the Perfect Penis: The Medicalization of Male Sexuality” (available for free if you search for the title and Tiefer’s name), Leonore Tiefer discusses the way that the increasing attention paid by the medical community to conditions defined as “impotence,” and the way it has become medicalized, requiring any number of surgical, psychological, and/or pharmacological interventions. While some men have undoubtedly benefited, the largest beneficiary is the medical community itself. The broadened definition of what counts as “erectile dysfunction,” for instance, has created a larger market for drugs such as Viagra and Cialis.
Dmitriy T.M. sent in a trailer for the documentary Orgasm Inc., which documents efforts to medicalize “sexual dysfunction” among women. In the 3-minute trailer, we see cultural commentators and doctors discussing the shocking prevalence of sexual problems among women (43%! 83%! It’s an epidemic!) and some potential medical solutions. It’s a fantastic example of the medicalization of sexuality (and pretty safe for work). Enjoy!