Kresge Library

27th Annual Women and Gender Studies Film Festival: 2010/2011

From Hysteria to Disorder:

Manufacturing Disorders of Female Sexual Desire

The Women and Gender Studies Program of the College of Arts and Sciences, Oakland University, presents the 2010/2011 Annual Film Festival: "From Hysteria to Disorder " on Saturday, March 12, 2011, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., 156 North Foundation Hall (campus map--#12 on map). Although this event is FREE, your contribution would be greatly appreciated. The Festival is co-sponsored by the Departments of Art & Art History, Communication/Journalism, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology/Anthropology/Social Work, and the School of Nursing. For more Information contact Women and Gender Studies, Oakland University (248-370-2154; Registration by March 4th is requested.

Program Schedule

12:00-12:15 Welcome

12:15-1:30 Passion & Power

1:45-3:00 Orgasm, Inc.

3:15-5:00 Discussion of films

Professors Sylvie Lombardo of Psychology and Patricia Wren of Health Sciences will lead the discussion.



Passion & Power: The Technology of Orgasm, produced and directed by Emiko Omori and Wendy Slick

Passion and Power

This is the story of one simple invention, the vibrator, and its relationship to one complex human behavior, the female orgasm. The history of the vibrator and its medical use had virtually vanished until historian Rachel Maines, researching needlework patterns in early 20th century women’s magazines, ran across ads for electric vibrators. Piquing her curiosity, she traced the origins of the early electrified appliance, setting a historical context for discussing women’s sexuality today.


Orgasm, Inc.: The Strange Science of Female Pleasure, directed by Liz Canner

A provocative and hilarious documentary targeting Big Pharma’s profit-driven quest for a female Viagra. The film highlights the increased use of cosmetic vaginal procedures and offers a look inside the medical industry and the marketing campaigns that are literally and figuratively reshaping our everyday lives around health, illness, desire – the ultimate moment of orgasm. Orgasm, Inc. goes deeper, revealing that many of the “treatments” for FSD (Female Sexual Dysfunction) have potentially dangerous and life-threatening side effects.

Orgasm inc

More about the films:

Passion & Power
web site for film
review in Variety
IMDb entry


Orgasm, Inc.
web site for film
Wikipedia entry
review in Variety
review in Journal of Sex Research [freely available "on campus," but "off campus" access is limited to OU faculty, staff, and students.]

Related Books available at the Kresge Library:

Adames, Alice E. Shameless Propositions : Women's Sexuality and Theoretical Authority. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2010.

Blackledge, Catherine. The Story of V : A Natural History of Female Sexuality. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004

Lloyd, Elizabeth A. The Case of the Female Orgasm : Bias in the Science of Evolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.

Maines, Rachel. Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Meston, Cindy M. Why Women Have Sex : Understanding Sexual Motivations, from Adventure to Revenge (and Everything in between). New York: Times Books, 2009.

Selected Articles:

[ Access to the articles below is freely available "on campus," but "off campus" access is limited to OU faculty, staff, and students.]

Angel, Katherine. "The History of 'Female Sexual Dysfunction' as a Mental Disorder in the 20th Century." Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 23.6 (November 2010), 536-541.

Banner, Linda L. "Biologic Basis for Female Orgasm: A Retrospective Report." Current Sexual Health Reports, 4.3 (September 2007), 133-137.

Colson, M.-H. "Female Orgasm: Myths, Facts, and Controversies." Sexologies, 19.1 (January-March 2010), 8-14.

Golden, Richard L. "William Osler's 'The Nervousness of American Women.'" History of Psychology, 11.1(February 2008), 1.14.

Lavie-Ajayi, Maya and Helene Joffe. "Social Representations of Female Orgasm." Journal of Health Psychology, 14.1 (January 2009), 98-107.

McGaughey, Martha and Christina French. "Women's Sex-Toy Parties: Technology, Orgasm, and Commodification." Sexuality and Culture, 5.1 (September 2001), 77-96.


Created on 3/1/11 by by Millie Merz / Last updated on 5/1/19 by Millie Merz
Oakland University

Oakland University, Kresge Library
2200 N Squirrel Rd., Rochester, MI 48309
(248) 370 - 4426