Sexual Dysfunction Causes

There have been various different attitudes towards sexual dysfunction over the centuries. Erectile dysfunction, in particular, has been written about in detail since medieval times.

Some of the earliest treatment approaches to sexual dysfunction were developed by Muslim physicians and pharmacists in medieval times. These physicians would prescribe both single drug therapies and combination regimens to treat erectile dysfunction. They also designed topical or locally applied medication preparations and developed drugs that could be applied via the urethra.

Some examples of key Muslim figures who were well known for this between the 9th and 16th centuries include Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi, Thabit bin Qurra, Ibn Al-Jazzar, Avicenna Averroes, Ibn al-Baitar, and Ibn al-Nafis. In particular, Avicenna was known for writing the book “The Canon of Medicine” and Ibn al-Nafis for writing the “The Comprehensive Book on Medicine.”

Traditional Chinese treatment approaches to sexual dysfunction included acupuncture, acupressure and the use of herbs.

As far as modern medicine is concerned, the study of sexual dysfunction dates back to the 1970s when the book Human Sexual Inadequacy was published by Masters and Johnson. The book was the final product of more than ten years of work carried out at the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation in St. Louis and involved 790 cases. The foundations for the book were laid out in a previous work by Master and Johnson called Human Sexual Response, which was published in 1966.

Prior to this, the main figure associated with treatment approaches to sexual dysfunction was Sigmund Freud. It was generally believed that sexual dysfunction originated in psychopathological factors and, overall, attitudes were pessimistic over the possibility of such disorders ever resolving. The approach to sexual disorders was mainly psychopathological and the various different forms of sexual dysfunction and their underlying causes were poorly distinguished.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, June 13). Sexual Dysfunction Causes. News-Medical. Retrieved on December 11, 2023 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Sexual Dysfunction Causes". News-Medical. 11 December 2023. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Sexual Dysfunction Causes". News-Medical. (accessed December 11, 2023).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Sexual Dysfunction Causes. News-Medical, viewed 11 December 2023,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
You might also like...
Unstable housing fuels risky behaviors among US high school students, CDC study warns