Behind Closed Doors: Gender, Sexuality, and Touch in the Doctor/Patient Relationship

By Angelica Redleaf; Susan A. Baird | Go to book overview

2
Sexuality

SEXUALITY: 1. the state or quality of being sexual; 2. a. interest in or concern with sex; b. sexual drive or activity

Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, 1994

What is sex--and how does it differ from sexuality? One definition of sex has to do with the differences between males and females, but the term today is more commonly used to indicate sexual relations, or being involved in a sexual manner: going to bed, sleeping together, having sex, sexual intercourse, making love, doing the wild thing. For the sake of clarity, this book embraces the latter meaning of "sex," using it to indicate sexual intercourse or other sexual acts. In this usage, "sex" can become an adjective; for example, one may "feel sexy" or be a "sexy woman or man"; one has sexual fantasies or sexual organs. "Sex" can also be used as a noun, as in "they had sex."

The field that studies humans and sex currently uses the term "sexuality," because it is a more holistic concept. It encompasses feelings about ourselves and others as sexual beings, including attractiveness and body image; ideas and experiences about relationships; and a healthy concept of choice, responsibility, and mutual interaction. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) offers this working definition: "Sexuality encompasses not only anatomy and biochemistry (what most people have come to think of as 'sex'), but also gender roles, personality, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The term 'sexuality' refers to who people are as men and women, and not to body parts, reproduction, or physical acts."

Sexuality is a basic physical and emotional facet of human life. In her book Women's Wisdom, Women's Bodies, Dr. Christiane Northrup writes that "Our

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Behind Closed Doors: Gender, Sexuality, and Touch in the Doctor/Patient Relationship
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • PART I Gender, Sexuality, and Touch 1
  • 1: Gender 3
  • Notes 29
  • 2: Sexuality 33
  • 3: Touch 43
  • 4: Explorations and Applications 53
  • PART II Sexual Misconduct 61
  • 5: What Is Misconduct? 63
  • 6: HOW Misconduct Occurs 71
  • 7: Caring for the Abused Patient 87
  • 8: Boundaries and Consent 91
  • 9: The Doctor Role 97
  • 10: What Is the Solution? 105
  • PART III Patient Protection Protocol 109
  • 12: Safe Practice Strategies 115
  • 13: Safe Practice Analysis 127
  • 14: Making Changes 161
  • 15: Defusing Sexual Attractions 169
  • PART IV Review 175
  • --16-- Six Factors for Safe Practice 177
  • 17: The New Patnership 183
  • Bibliography 185
  • Recommended Reading 191
  • Recommended Viewing 195
  • Index 199
  • About the Authors 213
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