Sex, Drugs, and How to Deal with Criticism: The Case of Flibanserin

  • Anke BueterEmail author
  • Saana Jukola
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 338)


In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration made the controversial decision to approve flibanserin as the first drug against problems of low female sexual desire. This approval has encountered many criticisms; in particular, it has been condemned as an exemplary instance of medicalization and disease-mongering, as lacking sufficient evidential support, and as targeting a highly problematic diagnosis (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder). In this paper, we review these complaints and show that many of the issues in the flibanserin case stem from a failure to properly deal with criticism. We argue that a principle of uptake of criticism can help preventing bias in research and drug regulation and can be secured by institutional measures.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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