Good Sexual Advice
Where would you go to get advice on sexual problems? Family doctor, pastor, psychiatrist, or a friend?
Friends are always a first choice but they don’t know much more than you do. Psychiatrists are too expensive and a lot of hassle. Priests are totally ignorant about sex. Protestant pastors don’t know much more beyond what the scriptures say. Family doctors, on the other hand are gentlemen and ladies of science, they must know all about sexual problems. They have studied such topics in their extensive training, or have they?
Unfortunately, most medical schools don’t offer courses on the subject and at best offer an elective lecture or two. This is a terrible shortcoming and a black mark against American medical education. I don’t know if European doctors are any more knowledgeable. Your family doctor should be your first line of help, even before that talk show host you watch on TV.
I recently attended a lecture on sex from a professor from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. I asked him if the Indiana University School of medicine ever utilized the Institutes expertise in educating their medical students. He replied, no, not at all. I could hardly believe it. Somewhere in their education, perhaps when they study psychiatry I would hope medical students would get training on the subject that is of concern to so many patients. But, all family doctors should be knowledgeable sex counselors
Sure, a urologist can fit you out with penile pump, a GP can write a prescription for Viagra, and a sex therapist can sleep with you, but how about some preliminary down to earth compassion and sensible advice? Do bisexuality dreams haunt you, do violent sex dreams leave you afraid to sleep, how many times per week should you have sex, why can’t you have an orgasm, why have you lost interest in sex? Should your family doctor take a crack at answering these questions or just refer you on to someone else? I say yes, they should be able to give you good advice. I believe all medical students should be aware of the basic sexual problems their patients may bring them, and in addition they should be exposed to all the varieties of sexual behavior that are present in any society, including pedophilia, bisexuality, homosexuality,
transexuality and the multitude of other behaviors. Family doctors don’t have to be experts, but they should be able to explain to their patients, for example, that homosexuality is a natural behavior. They should be able to explain something about its cause, believed to originate in the womb during development of the embryo and fetus. Family doctors need to be prepared to respond to their patient’s needs, be knowledgeable enough to give solid advice, comfort, and counsel to their patients.
Unfortunately, this is not usually the case in American medical education. Resources such as the Kinsey Institute and many other research facilities do not share their resources with medical schools. What can be done about it? Sex researchers and other experts should actively promote and offer their expertise to medical schools. They should make the case that sex is important at one time or another to everybody’s mental and physical health. Major sexual problems might be avoided with early counseling and basic information. That’s not so difficult is it? Come on medical school Deans. Update you curriculum.
“So Doc, my child is gay. What should I do?” Will your doctor refer you to Michelle Bachman’s husband? Will he refer you to an “expert” in the field at public expense? Or, will he give you some basic non alarming sensible medical advice?