More men and women are becoming addicted to sex
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.