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Social Stigma & Sex - Impact On Mental Health!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Shraddha Banerjee 91% (60 ratings)
M.Phil - Clinical Psychology, Bsc - Psychology, Msc - Applied Psychology
Psychologist, Gurgaon  •  15 years experience
Social Stigma & Sex - Impact On Mental Health!

We consider ourselves to be ‘modern and ‘open’ in our perspectives, thoughts and beliefs, but still, there are lots of issues that prevail in our society which people are not comfortable to talk about or afraid to discuss those issues openly with others. Issues related to sex, sexual desires, sexual orientations, sexual preferences are among those issues which are not easily discussed in our society.

Sex is the most basic of acts for human beings. It's an instinct we all are born with. Though people around the world remain hung over sex's moral and political implications, we all can come to at least one consensus that it is why we are alive today and our future generations will always depend on it in the first place.

A child, in his or her growing years, especially during adolescence, develops lots of curiosity related to sexual desires. The reason for it is also biological, as a child in this stage goes through various physical and hormonal changes and they start sensing these desires from inside. But when they try to express their queries, feelings or desires, our stigmatized society pulls them back. Gradually they develop a belief system that ‘sex' is something forbidden and not to be discussed openly.

Eventually, when they grow up and the time comes when they are supposed to address their own sexual needs, desires or impulses, they face challenges because of this inculcated belief systems.

These issues can lead to, if not addressed properly, various psychological distress in people like anxiety, depression and various sexual disorders.

Here, would like to mention some of the sexual disorders found among young population, like;

  • Sexual Arousal Disorder: In this condition, both men and women can develop an aversion to and/or avoidance of sexual contact with their partner. Lack of sexual excitement and pleasure in sexual activity.

  • Sexual Desire Disorder: Lack or absence for some period of time of sexual desire or libido for sexual activity or of sexual fantasies.

  • Erectile Dysfunction: Inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis.

  • Premature Ejaculation: In this condition, ejaculation occurs before the partner achieves orgasm. Men, in this condition, generally expresses that they have less or no control over ejaculation. The opposite condition to this is Delayed Ejaculation, where there is an inability for or persistent difficulty in achieving orgasm, despite sexual desire and sexual stimulation.

  • Orgasm Disorder: This condition is commonly found in women, characterized by persistent delays or absence of orgasm.

  • Sexual Pain Disorder: It is also commonly found among women and also known as Dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and Vaginismus (an involuntary spasm of the muscles of the vaginal wall causing difficulty in intercourse).

The cause behind these conditions can be sometimes physiological, but it has been seen that in most of the cases, there are some or other underlying psychological factors leading to those conditions.

Young adults, even in this era, find it difficult to talk about their sexual orientations, sexual preferences, their first intercourse, difficulty with sexual desires, difficulties or queries related masturbation or problem in ejaculation or any other sexual dysfunctionalities. One reason for this hesitation may be a ‘fear of rejection' that young adults face due to the inflexible social norms.

Many sexual issues that an individual face maybe because of some physical problems or a change in one's life circumstances. Causes of many sexual problems or disorders are also not well-known or understood. Treatments are available like medications or psychotherapeutic interventions, but to seek those help people should accept and open up with their concerns.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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