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ORIGINAL ARTICLES: Epidemiology and Neurobiology of Female Sexual Dysfunction



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: RETRACTION Volume 5, Issue 6, 1513, Article first published online: 3 June 2008

Anita H. Clayton, MD, Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia, Northridge Building, Suite 210, 2955 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA. Tel: (434) 243-4646; Fax: (434) 243-4743; E-mail:


Introduction.  Although several conceptual frameworks for female sexual dysfunction (FSD) have been advanced, there still is considerable disagreement over what constitutes a normal vs. abnormal response. Sexual dysfunction is a disturbance in sexual functioning involving one or multiple phases of the sexual response cycle or pain associated with sexual activity, while a sexual disorder includes both dysfunction and marked distress.

Aim.  Review the literature regarding the epidemiology and neurobiology of FSD.

Methods.  Review of the literature.

Results.  While a wide range of epidemiologic studies has been published, it is still difficult to determine the scope of FSD and sexual disorders in the general population. It is becoming clear that good sexual health is associated with good physical and mental health as well as compatible relationships with one's sexual partner. Central nervous system (CNS) control of the sexual response is a relatively new area of scientific exploration.

Conclusions.  We are improving our understanding of the contributions of the CNS neuroendocrine and neurotransmitter systems that modulate sexual behavior. Clayton AH. Epidemiology and neurobiology of female sexual dysfunction. J Sex Med 2007;4(suppl 4):260–268.