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The Controversial Female Viagra Debate

Critics call it disease-mongering; pharmaceuticals claim it's the second coming. But what about the people who's opinions really matter?

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When Viagra first made its debut, it was praised by men everywhere. Now older men could continue to have sex both inside and outside a committed relationship without having to worry about the embarrassment of not being able to get it up. It's uses in treating erectile dysfunction, at least temporarily, have been the subject of praise and hilarious twitter jokes for years. But in recent years, a new topic has come up: female Viagra. A study done in the late nineties claimed that 43 percent of women suffer from sexual dysfunction of some kind. Hence the rush to be the first on the market for a new, female-targeted drug to aid women suffering from this problem. The FDA recognized Female Sexual Dysfunction as a genuine condition, and recently, a drug has been approved to treat it. But ever since drugs began trial, and continuing unto today, critics have called it "disease-mongering,"a tactic used by drug companies to increase profits by manipulating statistics to make something seem like more of a problem than it really is. Groups have been calling for the drug trials to be stopped and the disorder status of the condition be revoked, the point being that normal sexual difficulties should not be treated by taking a pill. And sometimes that is true, and probably for some women in this scenario. But the thing to consider here is that most medication-treated disorders that invoke this kind of criticism have no visible physical symptoms. Mental illnesses are often criticized for being so heavily treated with medication. Another disorder often dismissed by critics is PMDD, a disorder characterized by highly exacerbated symptoms of PMS. But the thing is, nobody is forcing women to take this pill, and we have the resources to properly educate ourselves about its uses before considering a prescription. Denying that some females have serious sexual difficulties and denying the resources to overcome this is a ridiculous political agenda. This is a free country, the option to treat our problems is our right. Denying a woman a chemical, safe resource for sexual dissatisfaction and difficulties is akin to banning us from taking a Midol when we are writhing on the floor with cramps so painful we just want to rip the damn uterus out of our bodies. The deeper issue here is the antiquated sexual expectations for women. There was no such controversy over medication for male sexual dysfunction, because males are expected to engage and enjoy sex. A woman who has difficulty having an orgasm or even enjoying sexual relations at all is given much less credence because it is still subconsciously ingrained in the collective consciousness that they exist to pleasure the man and carry the children. In some societies even today, female genital mutilation is forced upon young women and girls to ensure that they don't enjoy sexual contact. But the truth is, women and other non-male gender identities deserve to enjoy sex just as much as a man, and they should be the ones who decide how they want to accomplish that.

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