Gender differences in the field of sexology: new contexts and old definitions

OBJECTIVE: To analyze concepts of gender and sexuality present in the field of sex therapeutic interventions. METHODOLOGICAL PROCEDURES: An ethnographic observation was conducted, and it was completed with the analysis of printed material originated from the X Congresso Brasileiro de Sexualidade Humana (10th Brazilian Congress on Human Sexuality), promoted by the Sociedade Brasileira de Estudos em Sexualidade Humana (Brazilian Society of Human Sexuality Studies), and the VIII Congresso Brasileiro sobre Inadequações Sexuais (8th Brazilian Congress on Sexual Inadequacies), promoted by the Associação Brasileira para o Estudo das Inadequações Sexuais (Brazilian Association of Sexual Inadequacy Studies), both held in 2005. The analysis emphasized the interaction between the quantitative perspective in the processing of the variables (participants' gender and profession and lecture topics) and the qualitative perspective in the analysis and interpretation of the more general set of data. RESULTS: The topics of sessions and focus of presentations suggest that the field is divided by the contrast between two medical specialties: gynecology and urology, the former is aimed at female and couple dysfunctions, while the latter is aimed at male dysfunctions. CONCLUSIONS: Male sexuality is approached from the predominantly biomedical perspective, centered on the physiology of erection and drug prescription, whereas female sexuality is considered to be conditioned by relationship problems, when psychological intervention is more adequate.

Gender and Health; Sexology; Health Personnel; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice

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