- health - paedophilia - Sexuality
Paedophilia has been in the news again recently in relation to the church scandals, HEALTH meets with men and women who have the courage to speak out about the problem, they represent both victims and perpetrators and they are part of an organisation called the 'blue angel' which tries to bring both sides together for therapeutic benefit
The 'blue angel' is an organisation founded by Latifa Bennari, a French woman who was herself victim of sexual abuse and so saw the need to organise group therapy session to help those affected. With experience, she found that paedophilia was by far the issue least addressed, remaining a taboo topic, ambiguous and difficult to deal with. And so she started to bring victims, aggressors and potential aggressors together to talk. Participants from both sides say that the talking helped them realises that they were not alone and to face their problems head on. One former victim who has now started to mediate the sessions says that men who had never actually done anything but felt the urges and were afraid they would, were able to stop themselves having heard of the suffering she went through. Many of the men told HEALTH that being part of the group forced them out of the world they had created for themselves and resulted in them putting moral and social constraints on themselves once again.
The ‘blue angle’ is the only organisation of its kind to get both sides around the same table, hundreds of people, have already contacted it and participated in its unique sessions. All involved insist however that it is no substitute for professional psychiatric help.
And still looking at sexual health we turn now to dysfunctions that affect a large proportion of society: impotence, a lack of sexual desire or other problems can lead to high levels of stress for all involved.
Erectile dysfunction affects around 4 in ten men who often feel embarrassed and diminished. After years of research much more is known about the causes of male impotence psychology plays a big part, but in 7 out of 10 cases impotence is related to disease. These include diabetes, hypertension or multiple sclerosis. The most well known treatment is of course Viagra. The little blue pill has become cash cow for Pfizer, the drug company that created it.
Since its launch in 1998 Viagra has earned 1.7 billion dollars.
The success has inspired large pharmaceutical companies to find the female equivalent. Researchers have been testing treatments such as testosterone. After childbirth or breast cancer a woman’s libido can wane. In both instances the testosterone levels drop. This hormone plays an important role in sexual desire. Some treatments already exist.
The ‘Intris’ is a patch that you place on the abdomen; it’s been sold in France since 2007 but, there can be undesirable side affects such as acne, hair loss and weight gain.
A dozen other alternatives are currently being tested worldwide. One of them if ‘flibanserine’, initially German researchers thought the drug was effective against depression, but when they discovered it also increased sexual desire they decided to brand and sell it. Women can look forward to the ‘Ectris’ pill being available in 2012.