10% men can’t rein in sex­ual de­sire: Study

■ De­spite # MeToo, mil­len­ni­als favour sex be­fore mar­riage, ca­sual sex ris­ing

The Asian Age - - Science+ Health -

Some 10 per cent of men and seven per cent of women strug­gle to con­trol sex­ual thoughts and urges, a new study re­veals.

A healthy sex life has been shown to have ben­e­fits for health and hap­pi­ness, but when sex be­comes a com­pul­sion it can in­ter­fere with ev­ery day func­tion­ing and cause dis­tress to those who must con­stantly fight urges.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Min­nesota found that the num­ber of Amer­i­cans strug­gling with dif­fi­cult- to- con­trol sex­ual de­sires may be in­creas­ing.

What’s more, it’s an is­sue that may af­fect dif­fer­ent groups — par­tic­u­larly sex­ual and ra­cial mi­nori­ties — dis­pro­por­tion­ately, sug­gest­ing sex­ual com­pul­sion may be part of wider health dis­par­i­ties.

Amer­i­can at­ti­tudes to­ward sex have un­der­gone some­thing of a trans­for­ma­tion in the last sev­eral decades.

In the 1970s, the ma­jor­ity of men and and women in the US dis­ap­proved of sex be­fore mar­riage.

Now, most mil­len­ni­als are in favour of sex be­fore mar­riage, ca­sual sex is on the rise, and far more open to the idea of same sex cou­ples and ac­tiv­i­ties.

And as these per­spec­tives have shifted, ac­cess to sex­u­ally ex­plicit con­tent has pro­lif­er­ated on­line.

Cou­pled with a seem­ingly re­lent­less stream of sex­ual mis­con­duct move­ments fu­el­ing the # MeToo move­ment, some psy­chi­a­trists, par­ents and pub­lic health ex­perts have wor­ried that sex­ual be­hav­ior is get­ting out of con­trol.

But it’s a di­vi­sive sub­ject, and de­spite these con­cerns, hy­per­sex­u­al­ity — also re­ferred to as sex ad­dic­tion — has been turned down by the Di­ag­nos­tic and Sta­tis­ti­cal Man­ual of Men­tal Dis­or­ders ( DSM) each time its ad­di­tion was been pro­posed.

Still, it’s re­mained a con­cern to Univer­sity of Min­nesota psy­chi­a­trist Dr Janna Dick­en­son, es­pe­cially in light of the grow­ing num­ber of celebri­ties and high pro­file peo­ple who have pub­licly ad­mit­ted their com­pul­sions.

“From Tiger Woods to Har­vey We­in­stein, news ar­ti­cles have con­jec­tured that ‘ sex ad­dic­tion’ is a grow­ing and hereto­fore un­rec­og­nized ‘ epi­demic’ while the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity de­bates whether such a prob­lem even ex­ists,” the psy­chi­a­trist said.

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