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Read that newswire carefully

June 2nd, 2005

Dr Petra

PR Newswire have recently sent out a press release on behalf of a female arousal fluid manufacturer. The press release runs under the dramatic headline ‘New Study Reveals More Than 48% of Women Suffer From Decreased Sexual Sensation’

Pretty scary stuff eh? That means that nearly half of the world’s female population have an impaired sexual response.

But is it accurate?

Not quite. It’s a case of spinning scientific research to suit your PR activity. Obviously it’s in the interest of the female arousal fluid company for high numbers of women to lack sexual sensation. Because if they do, or if they can be convinced their sexual sensation is inadequate, they can be persuaded to buy the female arousal fluid.

Job done.

For once the press release mentioned the research where this dramatic finding came from. It wasn’t conducted by the makers of the female arousal fluid, although it kind of implied it was. I checked out the paper they cited, and yes it did claim that 48% of women in their study reported some form of sexual dysfunction. This included women who reported a lack of desire, couldn’t get aroused or reach orgasm, or had pain after sex. It didn’t actually mention these women benefited from female arousal fluid. It did tie a lack of sexual response to pudendal nerve impairment, but if you have such a problem, its unlikely female sexual arousal fluid’s suddenly going to sort you out.

And the study only included 56 women, which is hardly enough to imply half the female population worldwide are sexually dysfunctional.

There’s increased concern that certain researchers are misusing or misinterpreting the prevalence of female sexual dysfunction (FSD), mainly to promote pharmaceutical products.

This latest PR release is an even more cynical example. It selectively reports an existing scientific study that isn’t without its limitations, to reinforce the idea high numbers of women have sexual problems. Just so you can persuade women to buy your female arousal fluid.

The moral of this story? Just because a press release cites lots of scientific papers, doesn’t mean it’s actually all that accurate. If in doubt, always ask an independent sex researcher.

They’ll be happy to put you straight :-)

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