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August 1967

Sexual Responsiveness in Women: Psychological Correlates

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(2):214-226. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730260086013

THE FACT of differential sexual responsiveness in women has been widely discussed; and there are a number of theoretical formulations concerning the factors contributing to the ability to achieve satisfactory sexual experience. It is within the psychoanalytic literature that one finds the most explicit concern with this matter and also the most elaborate attempts to offer meaningful explanatory concepts. In accordance with Freud's formulations1,2 it is assumed that the ability to obtain satisfaction from intercourse is a function of personal maturity. The view is taken that if a woman successfully copes with pregenital problems and resolves her oedipal conflicts satisfactorily, she then becomes capable of achieving genitality, which is equated with the highest form of maturity. She manifests this in the ability to achieve satisfaction and orgasm via a "normal" sexual relationship. One should note that in the freudian scheme real genitality