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SEXUAL HEALTH AND THE CONCEPT OF SEXUAL NORMALCY

Prof. Dante H. Abcede, MD, FPPA

References:
The Teaching of Human Sexuality in Schools for Health Professionals (WHO) Education and Treatment in Human Sexuality (WHO) Statement on Sexual Health (Dr. Mary Calderon SIECUS)

Health (WHO)
A state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity

In the sphere of sexuality, the emotional element is vital.

Sexuality is social not merely in the sense that it involves two (or more) people but also because its consequences has social impact and significance.

Sexual Health (WHO)


Integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual well-being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love.

Additional clause is a recognition of the following factors:


sexuality is one of the determinants of human personality sexual expression is communicative expression sex cannot be separated from love

Love and Reproduction:


the mature sexual expression is such that the two elements of Sex and Love are intertwined, one so much a part of the other

Reproduction is the eventual and natural result of love and sexual communication

Three Basic Elements


capacity to enjoy and control sexual and reproductive behavior in accordance with a social and personal ethic freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs and other psychological factors inhibiting sexual response and impairing sexual relationship freedom from organic disorders, diseases and deficiencies that interfere with sexual and reproductive functions

Variable Patterns of Behavior


sexuality is a complex issue wide variety of sexual mores and practice accelerating social and technological changes general increase in education about sexual matters situations vary from one society to another approaches to sex education would have to take local conditions into consideration sexual health and sexual normalcy to be defined on a broad basis

The Concept of Normalcy


average or usual agreeing with the regular or established

The Sense of Oughtness


average manifestation of what ought to be

Sexual Normalcy
falling within the average of normal capacity and expression; within a framework of sexual meaning and direction (oughtness) and when he has a sense of well-being within that context

Sexual Normalcy
Factors: congruence of various components of sexual identity, eg. anatomical, behavioral, chromosomal, hormonal etc. emotional acceptance of sexuality understanding of the meaning and expression of sex and sexuality capacity to adapt individuals sexuality to societal requirements, eg. rights of others and community at large

Normal Sexual Behavior


difficult to draw and clinically impractical easier to define abnormal sexuality

Sexual behavior that is destructive to self or others cannot be directed toward a partner excludes stimulation of the primary sex organs directed towards children and non-consenting people or non-human objects inappropriately associated with guilt, anxiety or distress causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning compulsive

Sex outside marriage, masturbation and various forms of sexual stimulation involving others that the primary sexual organs can still fall within normal limits depending on the total context

Basic Characteristics of Good Sexual Function


both partners are willing to make love each is able to relax non-sexual concerns disappear from awareness exclusive attention to ones own and ones partners pleasurable sensation pleasure and excitement of each partner is infectious and augments pleasure and excitement of the other rights of each partner to give and receive

Sexual Pleasure
Sex is completed with a high degree of personal pleasure and a sense of having shared a meaningful experience