Introduction: Surrogate partner therapy (SPT) is a controversial and often misunderstood practice.
Aim: The aim of this study was to review the history and evidence-based literature regarding SPT, describe and provide a model for ethical SPT practice, and present two case examples illustrating ethical concerns.
Methods: Literature review and report of clinical experience were the methods used.
Main outcome measure: Results of literature review and clinical experience were assessed for this study.
Results: Sex therapy pioneers Masters and Johnson introduced surrogacy in sex therapy; however, there is a lack of published evidence supporting treatment efficacy and ethico-legal questions have limited the practice from becoming a common intervention. SPT can be an effective intervention that may enhance sexual medicine practice. However, SPT must be offered according to legal, professional, and ethical standards.
Conclusions: Sexual medicine practitioners should consider SPT based on the ethical paradigms offered, and sex therapy practices utilizing SPT should collect and publish outcome data.
Keywords: Ethics; Sex Therapy; Surrogate Partner Therapy.
© 2013 International Society for Sexual Medicine.