History and philosophy: Edited by KWM (Bill) Fulford, John Z. Sadler and Paul HoffThe history of ‘Female Sexual Dysfunction’ as a mental disorder in the 20th centuryAngel, KatherineAuthor Information Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK Correspondence to Katherine Angel, Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Medicine, Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, Humanities Building, Room 448, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK Tel: +44 2476 522 314; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Psychiatry: November 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 6 - p 536-541 doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32833db7a1 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review To provide an overview of conceptualizations of female sexual problems, and ‘Female Sexual Dysfunction’ in particular, throughout the 20th century, especially in relation to psychiatry and mental illness. Recent findings In the past 15 years, there has been an increase in both medical and public discourse about ‘Female Sexual Dysfunction’. I discuss a variety of literature sources dealing with female sexual problems, where these are understood variously as problems of developmental psychopathology, as technical phenomena to be resolved through education, or as medical problems to be addressed pharmaceutically. Summary The stigma of mental illness shapes much recent discussion of female sexual problems, as does the legacy of the postwar critique of psychodynamic psychiatry. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.