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J Sex Med. 2012 Aug;9(8):2040-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02859.x.

Intended or unintended consequences? The likely implications of raising the bar for sexual dysfunction diagnosis in the proposed DSM-V revisions: 2. For women with loss of subjective sexual arousal.

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Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA.



Brotto proposes to combine female sexual desire and arousal disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition.


We provide evidence that the proposed criteria could potentially exclude from diagnosis or treatment a large number of women with distressing dysfunction in sexual arousal.


Rating scale data from nontreatment validation studies of patient-reported outcome measures including almost 500 women in North America and Europe, including 49 women diagnosed with arousal disorder only, were compared with the proposed criteria.


The main measures were an early version of the eDiary (an electronic diary on sexual activity) and four previously validated measures of female sexual dysfunction (FSD), the clinician-rated Sexual Interest and Desire Inventory-Female and the self-rated Female Sexual Function Index, Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire, and Female Sexual Distress Scale. Results.  The women with female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) scored as manifestly sexually dysfunctional and significantly sexually distressed. They had fewer satisfying sexual events (SSEs) vs. women with no FSD, with a lower proportion of SSEs, and significantly fewer orgasms.


Despite evidence presented that women with FSAD have clinically disordered sexual function, our data also suggest that the majority of these women with FSAD would meet none of the six proposed "A" criteria for Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder, raising new validity and utility concerns for the proposed diagnostic classification. Suggestions are made to modify the proposed new criteria so as to include such distressed women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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