The Role of Cultural Values in the Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Problems

  • Joseph LoPiccolo
  • Julia Heiman
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (Persp. Sex.)


The psychotherapist is often perceived as an objective, dispassionate arbiter of mental health, free of cultural biases. In point of fact, however, the psychotherapist is influenced by the culture in which he or she lives (London, 1964). The therapist’s conceptualization of human personality is inevitably shaped by the values of the dominant elements of his or her society. The danger in this cultural bias of therapists is that psychotherapy may become nothing more than an acculturation process. Culturally valued behavior may become synonymous with “mental health,” and culturally disapproved behavior may be labeled “mental illness,” a point that has been made repeatedly by Szasz (1960). In such a situation, the psychotherapist may tend to emphasize cultural conformity at the expense of the client’s individual needs.


Sexual Behavior Female Sexuality Sexual Dysfunction Sexual Problem Sexual Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph LoPiccolo
    • 1
  • Julia Heiman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

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