Until recently, DSM classifications regarding women’s sexual dysfunctions were based on definitions that mainly derived from experts opinions, rather than clinical or epidemiological studies. Additionally, this classification was the same for men and women, taking for granted the existence of a single sexual response model for men and women. More specifically, the main models that were described and prevailed were the linear models of Master’s & Johnson and Kaplan, as well as the circular model of Rosemary Basson that followed. The differences between linear and circular models have to do mainly with the fact that stages of sexual response overlap with each other in the circular model, while the initiation of sexual activity may not need the presence of spontaneous sexual desire. In linear models, the stages of sexual desire, arousal, orgasm and resolution follow each other in a stable manner, in contrary to circular models where sexual desire may not be neither the first stage nor the main reason for sexual activity. In this case, reasons for sexual activity may vary, focusing also on other aspects of human sexuality and personality and not only on innate sexual desire. DSM-5 based the classification of sexual dysfunctions on the circular model, although there is still not enough evidence to prove that all men and women can be represented by the same sexual response model throughout the lifespan. Apart from the aforementioned sexual response models, also other models have been described by several investigators, making an important effort to give a more accurate and complete description of human sexual function, as well as its disorders. The present article makes an attempt to review the sexual response models that have been described by the literature up to date, as well as to relate them to the DSM-IV and DSM-5 classifications.

Key words: Sexual response models, female sexual dysfunctions, DSM-IV, DSM-5.

F. Ferenidou, P.S. Kirana, L. Athanasiadis (page 322)

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