Being a female, I can begin to understand the view that there is and isn’t sexual dysfunction in an adolescent female’s sexual life. Our lives are largely lived under a patriarchal shadow that is cast across most of the stages of life that we go through. The view that there is sexual dysfunction in adolescent female sexual lives, I think, can be partly blamed on this shadow. The older and somewhat still prevalent view that females are sexual objects and should be sexual in order to please a man is a result of society’s stereotype of the female sexual experience. It is wrong and just plain ignorant to the fact that women too have a desire to be sexual. I just think that women have had to hide their desires from the world because they don’t want to be labeled a slut.
I don’t deny that there is the presence of sexual dysfunction in young females, but I think that especially for adolescent girls, part of the problem lies in the lack of knowledge they are given about sex and sexuality. There is nothing wrong with wanting to explore your sexuality because it is just as much a part of you as you sense of fashion. Teenage girls are allowed to explore their fashion sense by picking out their own outfits for school and by dyeing their hair if they so desire. Yet they are frowned upon when they decide they want to explore their sexuality and can’t without being called a slut or a whore. When they finally come around to exploring their sexuality, this subtle influence by society may make it hard for them to become aroused or find pleasure in sexual acts. Society has created the sexual dysfunction in these young girls.
For those who truly have a sexual dysfunction as a result of something either biological or societal, I think there is a way of dealing with it that doesn’t have to harbour any feelings of inadequacy or failure. I don’t think that drugs are necessarily the answer to everything, but society has some people believing that it is the answer to all their problems. Some big companies will have you believe that their drug will make all your sexual experience better and try to imply that your sex life the way it is now is not good and won’t get better unless you start taking their drug. Just as there are people in your life who are only looking out for themselves and are only trying to better themselves, there are big drug companies that are going to pick on your vulnerabilities and make you feel small just so that they can get you to buy their drug to help improve your sex life. For some people it works and the allure of a better sex life by taking a small pill will have them hopping into their car and driving over to the nearest pharmacy to get their hands on it.
I think that if people are able to look past the idea that a pill will all of a sudden make their sex lives better, there is hope that their sex life will get better simply by learning what works and doesn’t work for them. Especially in young girls, I think that having a sexual dysfunction isn’t so much a genetic thing as it is a lack of knowledge about sex. I know that from my experience there wasn’t a lot of information provided to me about sex and what it fully entails. Rather I was given the information about STIs and proper protection. This may also be caused by attending Catholic school all my life, but looking back on it now that shouldn’t have been an excuse. There were non-Catholic people that I went to school with and because they went to this school they may have missed out on a better education about sex.
I think that the sexual dysfunction that girls experience in adolescence can be prevented by providing more information about sex other than the worn out pamphlets about STIs, condom use and abstinence. If a girl goes to someone about a sexual problem, I think the first thing that the doctor or therapist should address is the amount of knowledge that the girl has about sex and her own sexuality. Like most problems that people try to solve by going with the easy pop a pill and be done with it scenario, this scenario should exhaust all other possibilities before resulting to drugs to solve it. Too often are we manipulated by large corporate drug companies and the media to think that if we can’t do something right the first time we do it there must be something wrong with us. I think that girls should feel okay with going to someone for help if they feel something in their sexual life doesn’t feel right. You have to right to know what’s going on with your body and how it should be responding. There shouldn’t be this compulsion to pop a pill for every little thing that can be fixed with a drug. There are always other options when trying to solve a problem and a drug should not be the first one.
I do believe that there is a growing trend among women who are standing up for their sexual desires and are fighting to work towards the equal representation of female sexual desire in a largely patriarchal society. Our society has gotten better at it, but there are still those that believe that women do not have the same level of sexual desire as men do. I think that they do but have always been very good at hiding it. For those that are confident enough to embrace the full strength of their sexual desires and go out and make sure they are getting what they deserve are the kinds of women many of us wish we could be like. I’m not trying to bash on those that do indeed have a sexual dysfunction, but as long as they are doing what is right for them and not what society thinks they should be doing, I think that whatever they choose to do about their sex life is totally up to them. As long as you are getting what you deserve, I wouldn’t pay attention to what society says you deserve; I don’t and my life has turned out pretty okay.