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Book and Media Reviews
February 28, 2007

Women’s Sexual Function and Dysfunction: Study, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Fishbein Fellow, JAMA.

JAMA. 2007;297(8):893-897. doi:10.1001/jama.297.8.895-b

One hundred twenty eight international authors have contributed to this textbook of encyclopedic proportions on women's sexual function, sexual physiology, and problematic response. The result is an excellent resource for academics and clinicians already in the field. However, for those new to the topic, both guidance as to where to start and a caution that the scientific standard of reporting studies is variable are needed.

I suggest reading the chapters on assessment and diagnosis (in section 3) first, then the final chapter on future directions, which puts much of the previous material into perspective. Surprisingly, there is no chapter devoted to psychological causes of dysfunction, nor is psychological evaluation prominent in assessment chapters. But the chapters on the history of psychological treatments and the roles of the psychologist and psychiatrist will provide the fundamentals of assessment, including sexual past, current relationship, personality traits, developmental history, and family-of-origin issues.

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