What is sexology and how is it practiced?

What is sexology and how is it practiced?

Sexology is a specialty branch of psychology and other health-related professions. But what does it consist of and how can it be practiced once the training is over?

What is sexology and how is it practiced?

Last update: October 26, 2022

Sexology is the science that studies sexual intercourse from a behavioral point of view, identity, sexual orientation and interaction. These are just some aspects on which a specialist sexologist is trained to help solve problems that can limit or generate discomfort in a person's sexuality. Yet, there is not much talk about this specialization, why?

Researcher Mirta Granero answers this question clearly and precisely: «sexology is an uncomfortable area of ​​knowledge, which must fight against the prejudices, stereotypes and customs of society». All of this results in a great deal of confusion about what is to be considered sexually healthy, generating great doubts when it comes to contacting a sexologist.

«When I feel that couples have lost their sexual connection, that's where my work begins: through a course of several weeks, and the tasks I assign, we try to reconstruct a feeling of security and complicity. The exercises focus on tactile experiences that allow the couple to find harmony. "

-Linda E. Savage-

Clinical sexology

Sexology is divided into two branches. On the one hand, we have clinical sexology, also called therapeutic. What do you do? What is the job of the specialist in this branch? A clinical sexologist deals with the treatment of difficulties and disorders of the sexual sphere of a psychological nature.

Although in most cases we are not aware of it, many sexual dysfunctions can have a psychological cause. For this reason, below we will review some of the most common ailments of this sphere and which, probably, you did not know you could solve by contacting a sexologist.

Main sexual dysfunctions treated by the sexologist

  • Vaginismus: it is a dysfunction characterized by the involuntary contraction of the muscles of the vagina. This contraction prevents penetration and causes painful sexual intercourse. It can be caused by fears, traumatic sexual experiences, or other reasons.
  • Lack of sexual desire: this condition can be very problematic within the couple, but it can be resolved thanks to the intervention of a sexologist. The specialist, in fact, will be able to provide the necessary tools to rekindle desire, expose oneself to erotic stimuli, fight laziness and distance.
  • Erectile problems: When a man experiences an erection problem, he can enter a vicious cycle of frustration, fear and performance anxiety. Even if these are completely normal and physiological episodes when they occur infrequently, if the problem becomes more frequent it may be due to the anxiety that recurs (and which is itself the cause of the erectile problem) or self- need. All this significantly compromises the self-esteem of the person, who will have to consult a sexologist.

Educational sexology

Now that we have an idea of ​​the aspects covered by clinical sexology, we will move on to the second branch of this discipline: educational sexology.

This is the discipline that deals with offering sex education courses in schools and universities. In reality, these encounters are not just for an educational purpose, but are primarily focused on sexual health.

Educational sexology addresses topics such as sexual disorders and sexual disease prevention methods, but it also deals with other issues on which in general absolute silence falls. Among these, we can mention:

  • The biological, psychological and social components of sexuality.
  • Reproductive health and responsible procreation.
  • The sexuality of disabled people.
  • Abuse and violence.
  • Addictions and sexuality.
  • Myths and legends about sexuality.
  • Sexual orientation.

«Sex education is, above all, education. [...] it is helping to train people free and capable of assuming respectful and responsible attitudes in their interpersonal relationships, as well as internalizing the behaviors of complicity regarding the sexual sphere, considering it as communication in all its dimensions and with all its implications. "

-Santiago Frago and Siberio Sáez-

The updating of sex education

These are just some of the topics covered by educational sexology and that they allow you to promote healthy behaviors to enjoy responsible sexuality. Unfortunately, these topics, which should be fundamental in any school meeting, are in most cases not addressed.

And this is how the sex education we receive is limited, in most cases, to illustrating how contraceptive methods work and how to avoid sexual diseases. However, as we have just seen, sexology extends to many other aspects and, as a result, many sexology specialists are pushing for a change in education.

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