More men and women are be­com­ing ad­dicted to sex

The Herald - - NEWS - TONY WHIT­FIELD

SEX ad­dic­tion is more com­mon than thought, af­fect­ing a tenth of men and a twelfth of women, a study found.

The al­le­ga­tions sur­round­ing Har­vey We­in­stein and the rise of the Me Too move­ment sug­gested sex ad­dic­tion has be­come an epi­demic within so­ci­ety.

Yet de­spite me­dia cov­er­age fol­low­ing high pro­file sex­ual scan­dals, there was no ac­cu­rate es­ti­mate of how preva­lent it was. Now a new US study sug­gests while men have more trou­ble con­trol­ling their urges, the gen­der gap is clos­ing as more women are also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sex ad­dic­tion. This could be down to chang­ing sex­ual mores, sex­ual lib­er­a­tion and the rise of in­ter­net porn and apps such as Tin­der that al­low for com­mit­ment free hook-ups.

And those with lower ed­u­ca­tion, those with very high or very low in­come, and ra­cial, eth­nic and sex­ual mi­nori­ties are more prone to it.

Fel­low Dr Janna Dick­en­son at the Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota, Min­neapo­lis, ex­plained: “From Tiger Woods to Har­vey We­in­stein, news ar­ti­cles have con­jec­tured that ‘sex ad­dic­tion’ is a grow­ing and hereto­fore un­recog­nised ‘epi­demic’ while the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity de­bates whether such a prob­lem even ex­ists.

“Although psy­chi­a­try has a long his­tory of at­tempt­ing to char­ac­terise hy­per­sex­u­al­ity, re­searchers and clin­i­cians have dis­parate views re­gard­ing whether it rep­re­sents a true psy­chi­atric dis­or­der or is merely in­dica­tive of a larger so­cio­cul­tural prob­lem – la­belled as out-of-con­trol sex­ual be­hav­iour.”

How­ever, how to de­fine and la­bel this also di­vides the ex­perts but a new recog­nised clas­si­fi­ca­tion of com­pul­sive sex­ual be­hav­iour dis­or­der or CSBD was used.

Dr Dick­en­son added: “Specif­i­cally, CSBD is char­ac­terised by a per­sis­tent pat­tern of fail­ure to con­trol in­tense, repet­i­tive sex­ual urges, which re­sults in repet­i­tive sex­ual be­hav­iour that causes marked dis­tress or so­cial im­pair­ment.

“Such dis­tress and im­pair­ment in­cludes ne­glect­ing so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties or per­sonal health, re­peat­edly at­tempt­ing to con­trol sex­ual be­hav­iour un­suc­cess­fully, and con­tin­u­ing to en­gage in sex­ual be­hav­iour de­spite ad­verse con­se­quences or even when the in­di­vid­ual de­rives min­i­mal plea­sure from his or her sex­ual ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Yet pre­vi­ous stud­ies found most were in de­nial and rel­a­tively few in­di­vid­u­als per­ceived their sex­ual be­hav­iour as prob­lem­atic.

Pre­vi­ous es­ti­mates for the US sug­gested preva­lence ranged from one to six per cent in adults.

„ An­dreia and Mar­cio Gomes lost their son at birth af­ter the fire.

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