week8 discussion

Discussion 2: Psy 332

What do you make of the criticisms of sex therapy by Thomas Szasz and others, who have argued that sexual “dysfunction” is an arbitrary social creation? Is all sexual dysfunction in the eye of the beholder, or are there certain sexual attitudes and behaviors that are clear disorders? Write an essay of 200-400 words addressing these questions and support your conclusions. Remember to post responses (75-100 words each) to at least two of your classmates.

Reply to classmate 1: I agree with Thomas Szasz. The reason that I agree is from personal experience. I dated a man who had issues being able to be intimate, and it was because of what was going on in his life and his social life. It was nothing biological or anything he was born with. He was not happy with his job, his boss was not the nicest to him, he was not able to graduate college, and it made him very depressed. Since he was depressed, it affected his sexual drive. There are some “diseases” that people can develop, but they technically aren’t diseases because they are treated with therapy. Psychological issues are the reason behind them in the first place. Men can develop ED, also known as erectile dysfunction, but can be treated with therapy, drugs, pumps, or surgery (Lehmiller, 2017, p. 338). There are some cases where ED is biological, but most of the time, it is psychological. To Thomas Szasz’s point, most people have issues with sexual dysfunction because of social factors affecting people mentally. Stress can also affect a person’s ability to be intimate. Stress, anxiety, depression are all factors that can decrease sex drive. Whether it is biological, psychological, or social elements, anything and everything can cause sexual dysfunction.


Lehmiller, J. J. (2017). The Laws of Attraction. The Psychology of Human Sexuality. John Wiley & Sons.

Reply to classmate 2: I think Thomas Szasz has a very god point, however i disagree slightly. I definitely agree with him when he said that ” what represents a sexual “problem” for one individual may be a desired outcome for another person “. Taking into account asexual people and some people who are just simply not sexual in nature. For these people, lack of sexual contact truly isn’t an issue. In a biological or chemical standpoint, if there is something in their body causing dysfunction it should still count. It may not even be an issue personally but stripping away personal preference there is still technically an issue. Therefore i think the main issue is the stigma behind the term sexual dysfunction. If you take away the stigma and only address the physical issue then i think we can properly diagnose.


Discussion 3: Psy 335

Describe your favorite, most intriguing personality disorder. Why is it so interesting? Does society shun it, or make excuses for it?

For example: Have Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms really just exploited narcissism for monetary gain, making a previously known personality disorder socially acceptable? (Feel free to use this one 🙂


Discussion 4: Post any questions you may have related to the legal system and gender here. If you know the answer or have an opinion, please respond and discuss. I may chime in as needed.

Reply to classmate question: According to the social constructionist perspective, gender is not something we are but something we do. Carol Tavris uses the example of writing birthday cards, keeping up with family events, etc., as “kin work,” most often delegated to women. This is something women are generally expected to do in American culture but which men are just as capable of doing. Can you think of other ways in which men and women “do gender”?

Some men believe that divorce laws and legal practices have made it more difficult for them to gain custody of or to continue parenting their children after divorce. Is this claim the flip side of the argument that women have a maternal instinct and are better suited to parent than men are? Review the research on child custody awards to see whether mothers are awarded custody more often than fathers. What conclusions do you draw about divorce laws and the legal system?

What do you think is behind the emotion of jealousy? Why are some people more prone to jealousy than others? Do you think men and women show their jealousy in different ways? If so, can you think of social factors that might account for these differences?

Visit your local bookstore (or look online) and examine the books in the self-help section on improving intimate relationships. Pull several off the shelf and put them in two stacks: one for those that have titles mentioning gender-relevant advice (e.g., Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus) and one for those that are generic (e.g., Couples Communication). How do the stacks compare? Can you discern any differences between them with respect to credentials of authors, extent to which scientific studies are cited, or whether the authors guarantee certain outcomes if you follow their advice.

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