According to the Journal of the American Medical Association in a study reported in February 1999, about 43 % of women and 31 % of men suffer from sexual inadequacy.
Although erectile dysfunction is considered a medical condition, Harvard Health reports that female sexual dysfunction is not yet considered a medical condition. . . . Interestingly, this dysfunctions occurs 12% more in women. There are now prescription medications for women, though studies show they do no have the same results. Why is that?
Women's reactions to medications in studies are more difficult to measure. They are qualitative not quantitative. Results can't be measured directly and relies on subjective feedback. A man's response to a drug like Viagra is easy to measure. Additionally, the causes are vastly different. Most Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) doesn't occur from lack of circulation or lack of testosterone like it does in men, but from psychological, social, economical and other issues that effect a woman's sense of well being. What causes dysfunction in men do not apply to women.
The factors that can effect these qualitative results in studies relate to a women's well being--which is essential to healthy sexual function. Emotional health and personal relationship factors were considered to be the number one factors related to sexual function in women. Certainly there are other factors, but they generally relate to well being: dissatisfaction with a relationship with a partner; health problems, whether physical or mental; economic or social instability, being single; and having less education.
Dr. John Bancroft, director of the Kinsey Institute speculated in the Archives of Sexual Behavior (Oct. 2002), the societal suppression and stigma of sexuality in women may be one cause of dysfunction. Additionally, the evolutionary advantage of not wanting to create more offspring than one can raise, may be an evolutionary reason for inhibiting sexual function. Women may be genetically predisposed to experience dysfunction.
Not only are the reasons behind dysfunction different for women, but they physically manifest in different ways from men. They may experience Hypoactive Sexuality Disorder (lack of interest), Sexual Aversion Disorder (phobic avoidance), Orgasmic Disorder (inability or difficulty to orgasm), Sexual Arousal Disorder (inability to obtain or maintain sexual excitement), Vaginismus (involuntary muscle spasms which make it difficult or impossible to enter the vagina), and Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse). A woman can experience pain during intercourse or not achieve an orgasm, but can still conceive a child. Whereas a man can't without even start without an erection. Is that a clue as to why more research has been done to aid men with reduced sexual function?
In order to be considered affected by sexual dysfunction, women must experience distress over their lack of sexual function. So even if a woman has painful intercourse, it isn't considered a clinical condition unless she cares or reports she cares. Interestingly, we don't have this same standard for men. If they experience a lack of erection, it is considered erectile dysfunction. Researcher since the 1999 Journal of American Medical Associate Study have questioned whether women were actually asked if they experienced distress. Though, even if they were, this do not address this double standard.
If there are 12% more women reported in studies who feel distress about sexual dysfunction than men, it would be interesting to know how many additional women versus men experience experience sexual dysfunction who do not care or expressed satisfaction with their sex life despite experiencing a condition such as Vaginismus. My guess is the rate of women experiencing FSD would go up.