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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Sexual responses are some of the strongest primary rewards used in research and, arguably, in nature. Sexual response often is considered only in isolation as a reflection of good general health or relevant solely for reproduction. Yet, altered responsiveness to sexual rewards is evident in a number of affective disorders not limited to sexual difficulties. Sexual stimulation has been neglected for its potential to treat a range of general physical and mental health problems. Relative to other emotion sciences, sexual psychophysiology is underdeveloped. The chapter reviews how sexual responses are affected in general emotional disorders, then attempts to distinguish these, often unsuccessfully, from related sexual difficulties.

Keywords: reward dysregulation, sexual function, sexuality, sexual stimulation, sex, reward systems, sexual behaviors

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