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Controversies in Sexual Medicine: Is Sex Just Fun? How Sexual Activity Improves Health

Authors


Emmanuele A. Jannini, MD, Course of Endocrinology and Medical Sexology, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, 67100, Italy. Tel: +39 0862433530; Fax: +39 0862433523; E-mail: emmanuele.jannini@univaq.it

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  With nonscientific, religious, or magic arguments, sexual activity has been regarded in the past as dangerous to health. This opinion is now rejected, and intercourse is generally considered healthy. However, while some aspects of the equation “more sex equals more health” have been demonstrated, others still need robust data for confirmation.

Methods.  Four scientists (an endocrinologist, a psychologist, a gynecologist, and a urologist) with expertise in the area of sexual medicine were asked to contribute with their opinions.

Main Outcome Measure.  Expert opinion supported by currently available literature.

Results.  Expert 1, who is Controversy's section editor, demonstrates that sexual activity stimulates testosterone production. He infers that this physiological stimulus to androgenic production is one of the reasons why sexual activity improves general health. He is partially supported by the psychological findings in the couple having sex dissected by expert 2 and by the experimental evidences discussed by expert 3, who found that general benefits of sexual activity are not just for men. Expert 4 critically discusses contrasting findings so far published on the relationship between sexual activity and prostate cancer. He, in general agreement with the remainder of the faculty, stresses the need for more research on this entire topic.

Conclusion.  Readers of The Journal of Sexual Medicine will judge if safe, satisfactory, and frequent sexual activity can be prescribed as a medicine in order to improve both general and sexual health of individuals and of the couples. Jannini EA, Fisher WA, Bitzer J, and McMahon CG. Is sex just fun? How sexual activity improves health. J Sex Med 2009;6:2640–2648.

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