One of the 'Least Understood Areas of Sexuality'

Ralph Colp Jr, MD; Charlotte R. Colp, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(4):424-425. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340040020009.
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The past two decades have seen a dramatic change in attitudes toward sexuality. Sexual functioning is now regarded as part of everyday life, open for frank discussion. Scientific knowledge of sex has burgeoned, beginning with the work of Kinsey, and then Masters and Johnson, and today there is precise information available on the incidence, nature, and treatment of many sexual dysfunctions, both physiological and psychological.

Unfortunately, thus far only meager contributions to this research have come from the field of internal medicine. With few notable exceptions (as follows), there has been little effort to study the sexual functioning of patients with medical illnesses. In his important textbook Male Sexuality, psychologist Zilbergeld1 states that the relation between sexuality and medical illness is one of the "least understood areas of sexuality." The exceptions are as follows.

Since the field of endocrinology deals directly with the sex organs and sex hormones, the


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