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FSH Research Group - Exploring Female Sexual Health

Pam Costa

Many women struggle with challenges around sexuality. Stinson (2009) reviewed various studies which cited the prevalence of difficulties with desire, orgasm, arousal and pain from 33-45% in the United States. Because these studies looked at incidence rates for a short time period (1-3 months), the lifetime prevalence could be much higher. The FSH Research Group's mixed method study aims to investigate whether peer support groups can offer improvement in female sexual health. More specifically, investigators in this research group seek to answer the following questions:

  1. What change, if any, do women perceive in their physical, emotional, mental and social relationships to sexuality?
  2. To what extent and in what ways do participants experience changes in their sexual desire, arousal and satisfaction?

Pam is a Student Research Fellow with the JFK Holistic Research Center, currently pursuing her Masters in Holistic Counseling Psychology at the San Jose campus. In addition to studying at JFK, Pam is the founder of Down To There, a movement to encourage more honest discussions about sexuality. Pam spent the first decade and a half of her career at Apple and Facebook, but now spends her time writing, speaking and coaching individuals and couples on new ways to renew and deepen desire and intimacy in their relationships. She believes that speaking openly is a powerful antidote to the negative cultural myths we have been exposed to, and shares her own real-life challenges and successes around sexuality in a regular series on Huffington Post.

Students or alumni who want to get involved in the research can contact her at

References:Stinson, R.D. (2009). The behavioral and cognitive-behavioral treatment of female sexual dysfunction: How far we have come and the path left to go. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, (3-4), 271-285. doi:10.1080/14681990903199494