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Sexuality & Sexual Problems
Basic Information

Across time, shame and taboo have been associated with sexuality, perhaps contributing its mystery. Whatever the reasons, sexuality remains a topic that is under-discussed. The purpose of this paper is to provide general information about what constitutes healthy sexuality vs. what constitutes disordered sexuality.

In 1785 William Cowper wrote a poem entitled "The Task." From this poem emerged a commonly-used saying: Variety is the Spice of Life. Sexuality is no stranger to variety and when we speak of "normal" sexuality, it may be useful to keep this saying in mind. People often wonder what constitutes normal, healthy sexuality. When it comes to sexuality, defining what is normal, and what is not, is quite complicated because there is such tremendous variety in sexuality.

Defining "normal" sexuality is further complicated because we often use the words, "normal" and "healthy" to mean the same thing. While "normal" and "healthy" may often refer to the same thing, their meanings are somewhat different. Normal refers to what is average. In science, when we say something is "normal" we mean it is average. On the other hand, "healthy" refers to what is adaptive. As we will soon see, sometimes what is considered average or "normal" is not necessarily considered adaptive or "healthy" by some people. Because sexuality is so incredibly diverse, and because what determines normal sexuality is dependent upon many different things, it is easy to understand the difficu...

 
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