Expert: ‘We're Lagging Behind on the Biology Piece’ of Women’s Sexual Health Conditions


Rachel Rubin, MD, an assistant clinical professor in urology at Georgetown University and a urologic surgeon, discusses the origin of the historical idea that sexual dysfunction in women is primarily based in emotional and/or psychological conditions.

Pharmacy Times interviewed Rachel Rubin, MD, an assistant clinical professor in urology at Georgetown University, a urologic surgeon who specializes in the treatment of sexual dysfunction in both men and women, and one of only a handful of physicians trained in both female and male sexual medicine, on hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and the current treatments available for this medical condition.

Alana Hippensteele: Where might thehistorical idea that sexual dysfunctionin women is primarily based in emotionaland/or psychological conditions potentially come from?

Rachel Rubin: Well, I think Freud did nobody [much] good at any point, and if we could blame one human that I could maybe strangle it may be Freud. I'd like to have a conversation with him.

I think I do have a lot of opinions about this, and they're my sole opinions, but I think that women historically have gone into psychosocial fields and have been incredible researchers and incredible champions in the social sciences and in the psychosocial world. So, they take on subjects they care about, like sexual health, and they do a killer job. And there are some incredible researchers out there over the decades that have really gotten us to understand so much about sexual health from a psychosocial lens.

But we have fewer women in the biological science part of the world. Listen, I'm a woman urologist. We make up less than 10% of practicing urologists.

We don't often champion these issues as being really valuable and important [in society], and so we don't research things that we don't value. You don't see a lot of NIH funding picking up on women's sexual health conditions, and so we're lagging behind on the biology piece.

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