Theoretical perspectives[ edit ] Theorists and researchers have usually employed two different frameworks in their understanding of human sexual desire. Second, a socio-cultural theory where desire is conceptualized as one factor in a much larger context i. Incentive motivation theory exists under this framework. The traditional model for the human sexual response cycle can be represented as: Rather, it is something that persists through arousal and orgasm and can even persist after orgasm.
Although orgasm might make it difficult for a man to maintain his erection or woman continue with vaginal lubrication , sexual desire can persist nevertheless. Sexual desire is not an urge; this may imply that individuals have more of a conscious control of their own desire. That being said, sociocultural influences may push males and females into gender-specific roles where the use of social scripts dictating the appropriate feelings and responses to desire and activity are expected.
Some theorists suggest that the experience of sexual desire may be socially constructed. One single approach may provide necessary factors for studying desire, but it is not sufficient. This includes anatomy and neuroendocrine physiology. Motivation — The psychological component. This includes the influences of personal mental states mood , interpersonal states e.
Wish — The cultural component. This considers cultural ideals, values, and rules about sexual expression which are external to the individual. Females on the other hand remain flexible throughout their life cycle. This change in sexuality due to sensitivity to variations in situational, cultural, and social factors is called erotic plasticity. Otherwise, we know very little about the feelings of sexual desire and sexual arousal in prepubertal children or whether any feelings they may have can be comparable to what they would experience later on in life as an adult.
Lippa utilized data from a BBC internet survey to examine cross-cultural patterns in sex differences for three traits: These three traits all showed consistent sex differences across nations, although women were found to be more variable than men in their sex drive. In their study, women who said that sexual activity was important to the quality of their lives and relationships demonstrated low desire, while women who placed less emphasis on sexual activity in their lives demonstrated high desire.
Men also presented similar results. They found that women with lower sexual desire responded to sexual stimuli in the picture recognition task more quickly but rated the sexual images as less arousing and less pleasant than the other desire groups. Doses of testosterone given to women transdermally have been found to improve levels of sexual desire and sexual functioning.
As a result, the SDI proposes that desire can be split into two categories; dyadic and solitary desire. With a maximum score of 51 on the scale, higher scores represented increased levels of sexual functioning. Whether people think that their experience of desire or lack of experience is problematic depends on special kinds of social circumstances such as the presence or absence of a partner. Sexual desire is often considered essential to romantic attraction and relationship development.
For more information please view Sexual Desire and Intimate Relationships. The first is hypoactive sexual desire disorder HSDD. On the opposite end of the Sexual Desire Disorder spectrum is Hypersexual disorder. Some studies have found that diabetic men have shown lower levels of sexual desire than healthy, age-matched counterparts.
However, in men, only the use of anticoagulants and medications for hypertension was related to low levels of desire. Not every woman experiences the negative side effects of the pill, however, as many as one in four do. In turn, high SHBG levels have been associated with a decline in sexual desire. Testosterone is mainly synthesized in the testes in men and in the ovaries in women.
Exogenous administration of moderate amounts of oxytocin has been found to stimulate females to desire and seek out sexual activity.
In males, the frequency of ejaculations affects the libido. If the gap between ejaculations extends toward a week, there will be a stronger desire for sexual activity. For everyday life, a fact sheet by the Association for Reproductive Health Professionals recommends: Religion and sexuality The views on sexual desire and on how sexual desire should be expressed vary significantly between different societies and religions. Various ideologies range from sexual repression to hedonism.
Laws on various forms sexual activity, such as homosexual acts and sex outside marriage vary by countries. Some cultures seek to restrict sexual acts to marriage. In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan,  Afghanistan,   Iran,  Kuwait,  Maldives,  Morocco,  Oman,  Mauritania,  United Arab Emirates,   Sudan,  Yemen,  any form of sexual activity outside marriage is illegal.
In some societies there is a double standard regarding male and female expression of sexual desire.