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At a basic level, sexual desire has been defined as the drive to behave sexually. However, many theorists and researchers have debated how to define such a multidimensional construct. Through a more complex lens, sexual desire can be seen as a subjective feeling state triggered by both internal and external cues. Its multiple components can be understood in a biopsychosocial framework. This entry defines sexual desire; introduces its biological, cognitive, and social aspects; and explores related clinical issues and questions.

Defining Sexual Desire

Sexual desire is considered to be an individual difference. Guilt, hormones, and attitudes toward sex are examples of factors that can influence sexual desire and its expression. Some researchers have suggested that people with elevated levels of sexual desire pay more attention to ...

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