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Arriving at a “New View” of Women’s Sexual Problems: Background, Theory, and Activism

We live in times of momentous global, cultural, political, institu­ tional, and personal change in women’s sexual lives and experiences (e.g., Giddens, 1992; McLaren, 1999; Travis and White, 2000; Lancas­ ter and di Leonardo, 1997; Jackson and Scott, 1996). Women’s sexual emancipation has unquestionably increased almost everywhere, though there is far to go and many probable setbacks. With steps forward, how­ ever, come new challenges, and this essay will critically examine the problematic current wave of medicalization emerging to “manage” women’s sexual problems.