WASHINGTON, May 12 When it comes to sex, more than half of men and women don't recognize the brain as an important female sexual organ, according to a new survey.*
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"The root of a woman's desire is complex, but it is thought to start with her brain. The brain is the center for thoughts and emotions, but it is also home to a complex system of nerves, hormones and other chemicals that can affect sexual desire," said Laura Berman, LCSW, Ph.D., and sex and relationship expert.
Interestingly, the survey revealed that women and men's feelings about sex and sexual desire are more alike than people may think, as they both agree that sexual health is important for a woman's overall health and well being. Yet, while most women surveyed would be concerned if they experienced, and most men would be concerned if their partner experienced, a decrease in sexual desire, less than half of both women and men have ever discussed these issues with their partner.
Today, the Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR), along with actress and TV personality Lisa Rinna, launched "Sex Brain Body: Make the Connection," a new educational campaign about female sexual health, particularly about the role the brain is thought to play in female sexual desire.
"As a woman, wife and mother, I know that women's sexual desire can fluctuate. For some women that's normal, but for others it may be something more," Rinna said. "Everyone is entitled to a healthy sex life. That's why I'm encouraging women to learn more about their sexual health and the brain's potential role in desire, so they can talk more openly about it with a partner and health care provider. By visiting www.SexBrainBody.com, I want to empower women to learn more about their sexual health and better understand sexual desire."
Experts believe that chemicals in the brain may play a role in sexual response, impacting a woman's sexual desire. Women and men surveyed believe that desire is important for a healthy sex life, and that a decline in a woman's desire would be distressing to the woman. Yet, few people realize that a lack of sexual desire accompanied by distress might be something more than stress from a demanding career or family commitments. It may be a medical condition known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, or HSDD.
By visiting www.SexBrainBody.com, women can learn more about HSDD, as well as find helpful tips for starting what may be an uncomfortable conversation with their partners or health care providers about their sexual health and any issues they may be experiencing.
"For 20 years, SWHR has provided resources and knowledge to empower women to take control of their health. We are proud to be supporting this campaign to help women understand their sexual health and give them the confidence to discuss their needs," said Phyllis E. Greenberger, M.S.W., President and CEO of SWHR in Washington, D.C.
The "Sex Brain Body: Make the Connection" survey included 1,300 women ages 30 to 55 years and 1,129 men ages 30 to 65 years. The survey was designed to explore the attitudes and behaviors of women regarding their sexual health, as well as men's perception of a woman's sexual health.
Highlights of the survey include the following:
About "Sex Brain Body: Make the Connection"
"Sex Brain Body: Make the Connection" is an educational campaign meant to help women recognize the potential links between the brain, the body and sexual desire, so they can better understand and address their own sexual health. The campaign is sponsored by the Society for Women's Health Research and content was developed with the support of a sponsorship from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. To learn more about the sex-brain-body connection, visit www.SexBrainBody.com.
Low sexual desire is the most commonly reported female sexual complaint. Approximately one in 10 women reported low sexual desire with associated distress, which may be HSDD. HSDD is a form of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and has been recognized as a medical condition for more than 30 years. As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), HSDD is the persistent or recurrent lack (or absence) of sexual fantasies or desire for any form of sexual activity causing marked distress or interpersonal difficulty and not better accounted for by another disorder (except another sexual dysfunction), direct physiological effects of a substance (including medications), or a general medical or psychiatric condition.( ) Generalized, acquired HSDD is not limited to certain types of stimulation, situations or partners, and develops only after a period of normal functioning. There has been an unmet need for women as there is no FDA-approved treatment for HSDD. It can affect women of all ages and at any stage of life.
*About the Survey
A demographically representative national internet sample of 1,300 women between the ages of 30 and 55 and 1,129 men 30-65 were invited via email to participate in a 10-minute self-administered online survey. Women meeting any of the following criteria were eliminated from participating: had a full hysterectomy, currently take hormone replacement therapy, are post-menopausal and have already gone through menopause. The surveys were administered between February 8 and March 18, 2010. Data for these studies are tested for statistical difference at a confidence level of 95 percent. Data are weighted to reflect accurate representation of population.
About Society for Women's Health Research
The Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR), a national non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., is widely recognized as the thought leader in research on sex differences and is dedicated to improving women's health through advocacy, education, and research. SWHR was founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, medical researchers and health advocates who wanted to bring attention to the myriad of diseases and conditions that affect women uniquely. Women's health, until then, had been defined primarily as reproductive health. Women were not routinely included in most major medical research studies and scientists rarely considered biological sex as a variable in their research.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 142 affiliates in 50 countries and more than 41,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
In 2009, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $17.7 billion (12.7 billion euro) while spending 21% of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.
For more information, please visit http://us.boehringer-ingelheim.com
About GfK Healthcare
GfK Healthcare (www.gfkhc.com) is the largest provider of fully integrated custom health care marketing research in the United States. With the broadest range of custom, syndicated and proprietary research offerings, paired with expertise in managed markets and sales force effectiveness, GfK Healthcare is equipped to meet a product's needs across its life cycle, through flexible marketing research resources, responsive to clients' evolving challenges. GfK Healthcare is part of the GfK Group.
-- Nearly 75 percent of women report experiencing a lack of sexual desire at least occasionally, with 20 percent reporting a lack of desire frequently -- Both women and men believe a woman's lack of desire for sex would cause distress in a relationship (78 percent women, 63 percent men); more than half of women and men say that a lack of desire would have a negative impact on their relationship -- Most women (roughly 60 percent) say they would discuss low sexual desire with their health care provider, yet only 14 percent have actually done so -- More women would rather discuss other health topics such as allergies, skin care, hair loss and weight issues with their health care provider than talk about their sexual health( ) -- Women are seven times more familiar with erectile dysfunction (66 percent) than Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) (9 percent)
SOURCE Society for Women's Health Research and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.