ch11

Psychology in Action

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Enter Masters and Johnson whose perceived role was to alert the American public to the extent and seriousness of sexual dissatisfaction. The problem was so severe according to Masters and Johnson that not only were half the marriages in America in danger, but the political stability of the country itself was threatened (p. 63). What could be done about this dangerous situation? One suggested solution for husbands and wives who were in these unfulfilling marriages was to masturbate. They especially advocated it for women during their menstrual period since it increases menstrual flow and reduces cramps, headaches, and backaches. Szasz facetiously refers to Masters and Johnson's promotion of masturbation for menstrual difficulties as better than Excedrin. As for their urging of older men to masturbate to keep in shape, Szasz refers to this bit of advice as "Use it or lose it," and equates it to "penile jogging" (p. 63). One of the new diagnostic categories to arise during this period was masturbatory orgasmic inadequacy. This is strictly a female disorder and refers to those who have not climaxed as a result of masturbation. This term applies even if a female has found heterosexual relationships satisfactory. Since this problem should be remedied, a nine-step exercise has been developed that will overcome this deficiency. Szasz's criticisms deal with much more than just the 180-degree change with regard to masturbation: he challenges the very concept of the "sexual expert." He is most vitriolic in his discussion of the research methods used by Masters and Johnson. Frankly, most people do not entertain a moderate position with regard to this type of research: they either agree strongly or disagree strongly with the Masters and Johnson approach. But if Szasz is right about there being no sexual experts, what's a person to do? Reference: Szasz, T. (1980). Sex by prescription . Garden City, NJ: Anchor Press/Doubleday. Instructor's Resource Guide                                Chapter 11                                       Page  86                                                                      
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  K ey T erms SEX ANF GENDER androgyny [an-DRAW-jah-nee] (p. 383) gender (p. 376) gender identity (p. 378) gender role (p. 376) gender schema theory (p. 378) sex (p. 376) sexual orientation (p. 379) social learning theory of gender role development (p. 377) SEXUAL BEHAVIOR excitement phase (p. 390) orgasm phase (p. 390) plateau phase (p. 390) refractory period (p. 390) resolution phase (p. 390) sexual prejudice (p. 393) sexual response cycle (p. 389) SEXUAL PROBLEMS AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) (p. 400) double standard (p. 376) HIV-positive (p. 400) performance anxiety (p. 395) sexual dysfunction (p. 394) sexual scripts (p. 396) Instructor's Resource Guide                                Chapter 11                                       Page  87                                                                      
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  • Human Sexuality, Sexual intercourse, Sexual arousal, Orgasm

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