Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Erectile Disorder in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Barry McCarthyEmail author
  • Danielle Cohn
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_457

Name of Concept

Biopsychosocial model of assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention


When Viagra (sildenafil) was introduced in 1998, it was a common belief that a stand-alone medical intervention would resolve erectile disorder (ED). ED is the major cause of secondary male hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). The mistaken assumption underlying this belief was that male HSDD would dramatically be reduced with assured erectile function. Rather than solve ED, many men felt like “Viagra failures” and gave up on couple sex, leading to a shockingly high Viagra dropout rate. Some clinicians believe that Viagra has caused more nonsexual relationships since 1998 than anything else in history (Metz and McCarthy 2004).

Theoretical Context for Concept

The great majority of men learn sexual response in adolescence and young adulthood in an autonomous manner in which he experiences spontaneous erections, transitions to intercourse, and orgasm on his first erection; consequently,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American UniversityWashingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA