The Kinsey Institute no longer operates a clinic. To find a sex therapist in your area, contact AASECT.
The Kinsey Institute Sexual Health Clinic provides diagnostic assessment,
counseling, and treatment for people with problems in their sexual lives.
The most common problems seen at the clinic are those involving difficulties
in responding sexually (e.g., erectile problems in men and difficulties
in achieving orgasm in women).
Other problems, including concerns about sexual orientation, sexual aversion
(male or female), consequences of earlier sexual assault or abuse, transsexuality,
unusual sexual preferences (e.g., fetishism), and pedophilia or other
types of behaviors prosecuted as sexual offenses, will be considered,
and help offered when appropriate.
The philosophy of this clinical program is to approach human sexuality
as a psychosomatic process and to strive to understand how psychological
and physiological processes interact in people's sexual lives. The aim
is to help patients experience improvement in the quality of their sexual
lives, not simply to improve specific aspects of sexual response. This
is of particular importance in dealing with problems of sexual dysfunction.
While it is often necessary to assess the relevance of physical disease
or drug factors, understanding the current sexual relationship is usually
of primary importance. Even when there is a clear physical cause for a
sexual problem, it is usually the case that psychological factors also
play a part, and counseling can often be helpful in improving the quality
of sexual life in such cases.
The mainstay of the assessment is a careful sexual history. When appropriate,
other kinds of investigation will be carried out. These are most often
used in assessing male erectile dysfunction, where assessment of spontaneous
erections during sleep, or measurement of erections in response to drugs
injected into the erectile tissues, or in response to psychological stimuli,
are often helpful. Hormonal assessment is carried out when indicated.
Referral for more complex forms of diagnostic assessment is also possible
Treatment may involve:
In most cases where the patient has a sexual partner, the partner will be
encouraged to attend the clinic with the patient, initially for assessment,
and if sexual counseling or therapy is involved, for joint treatment.
- simple advice and supportive counseling,
- sex therapy,
- pharmacological or hormonal treatment, or
- referral for surgical treatment.
For transsexual or transgendered patients seeking sex reassignment, or
simply advice, an initial assessment interview is carried out. This may
be followed by real-life testing (i.e., a period of time in which the
individual is encouraged to live fully in the chosen gender role, with
advice and support from the clinic). After a period of time, more irreversible
steps, such as hormonal treatment to produce feminizing or masculinizing
effects, may be taken with the clinic's help. Referral to a surgeon for
sex-reassignment surgery or other surgical procedures (e.g., mastectomy,
hysterectomy, breast augmentation, and/or facial plastic surgery) is done
The clinic's director, Dr. John Bancroft has run sexual clinics previously
in Oxford, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Anyone interested in finding
out more about the clinic director's approach to assessment and treatment
of any of these issues may refer to:
Bancroft, John. Human Sexuality and Its Problems,
2nd edition (Churchill Livingstone, 1989).
For further details about this clinic, please see the article, "Serving
the Community, Enriching the Profession" in the September 1997 issue
of Research and Creative Activity, an online publication of Indiana
[Menstrual Cycle Clinic]