Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research
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This is a collection of research findings, trends and controversies related to the type of problematic sexual behavior in which a person is unable to stop or control certain sexual behaviors despite a desire to do so.  This site is likely to be of primary interest to researchers, mental and sexual health professionals, and those with an academic interest in the topic.  
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Sexual compulsivity and interpersonal functioning: sexual relationship quality and sexual health in gay relationships

Sexual compulsivity and interpersonal functioning: sexual relationship quality and sexual health in gay relationships | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"The present study examined the role of sexual compulsivity (SC) in four aspects of interpersonal functioning relevant to main partnerships......SC was associated with lower sexual relationship quality and increased potential for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission from a casual partner and subsequent transmission to (or reinfection with) a primary partner. Couples interventions for SC may be relevant to individual and public health. They provide a platform to practice communication skills, identify preferred sexual activities, and negotiate sexual safety."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Starks, Tyrel J.; Grov, Christian; Parsons, Jeffrey T.

Health Psychology, Vol 32(10), Oct 2013, 1047-1056.

Abstract only. 

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Nonparaphilic Hypersexual Behavior and Depressive Symptoms: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Literature

Nonparaphilic Hypersexual Behavior and Depressive Symptoms: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Literature | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"(T)he authors review the literature on the relation between nonparaphilic hypersexual behavior and depressive symptoms. There was a moderate, positive relation between nonparaphilic hypersexual behavior and depressive symptoms (r = .34). This relation was similar across gender, sexual orientation, and age. The authors discuss the implications for researchers and clinicians working with hypersexual individuals. Future research should work to elucidate the causal direction of the relation between nonparaphilic hypersexual behavior and depressive symptoms. The authors encourage clinicians who work with hypersexual patients to assess them for depressive symptoms and consider treatment options that address concurrent depressive symptoms."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: This study supports the common-sense notion that for some people  depression contributes to hypersexually disordered behavior as a coping mechanism, and the negative consequences of this behavior can intensity depressive symptoms, resulting in a never-ending cycle.


(2013). Nonparaphilic Hypersexual Behavior and Depressive Symptoms: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Literature. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.  Published online: 29 Oct 2013. 


Abstract only.

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Sexual Compulsivity in Gay Men from a Jungian Perspective

Sexual Compulsivity in Gay Men from a Jungian Perspective | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"This paper offers an approach to the understanding and psychotherapeutic treatment from a Jungian perspective of gay men who seek treatment for sexual compulsivity......Jung's concept of a teleological or synthetic approach to treatment is explored and illustrated in a clinical case study. His concept of the numinous and how it possibly relates to sexual compulsivity is discussed. Shame as an important etio-logical factor is emphasized. The concept of the shadow, including its necessary integration in the course of treatment, is discussed. "

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

(2000). Sexual Compulsivity in Gay Men from a Jungian Perspective. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy: Vol. 3, No. 3-4, pp. 141-167. 

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Compulsive Sexual Behavior and its Relationship to Risky Sexual Behavior

"Our research has found that compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) influences multiple measures of HIV sexual risk and that the association between CSB and HIV sexual risk behavior is consistent across multiple populations..... .....Further, we have found that CSB can be characterized by disruptions of certain executive functions, impulsivity, and difficulties with emotional regulation. These factors are described within the context of HIV prevention and a model is proposed of how CSB leads to HIV sexual risk behavior."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: The role of compulsive sexual behavior in HIV/STI transmission is robust evidence of the importance of this topic to the field of sexual health.


(2013). Compulsive Sexual Behavior and its Relationship to Risky Sexual Behavior. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: Vol. 20, Hypersexual Disorder, pp. 127-138.

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Looking for Attachment Solutions In All The Wrong Places: Out of Control Sexual Behavior As A Symptom of Insecure Attachment in Men

"Hypersexual behavior may be a particular manifestation of avoidant attachment and it is this underlying issue that must be addressed to effectively treat Hypersexual Disorder."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: This is a Doctorate in Social Work dissertation by Michael Crocker, downloadable in its entirety.




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BHK's curator insight, September 25, 2013 9:43 AM

"The results yielded 13 characteristics related to OCSB: denial and dissociation, avoidance behavior, delusional omnipotence, narcissism, obsession and compulsion, risk taking, excessive fantasy, endangering professional/personal life, tolerating abusive relations, living a double life, desperate and irresponsible behavior, and a decline in one’s spiritual life."

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Sexual Addiction or Hypersexual Disorder: Different Terms for the Same Problem? A Review of the Literature

Sexual Addiction or Hypersexual Disorder: Different Terms for the Same Problem? A Review of the Literature | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"In our systematic review of the existing measures, 22 questionnaires were identified. As with other behavioral addictions, the appropriate treatment of sexual addiction should combine pharmacological and psychological approaches. Psychiatric and somatic comorbidities that frequently occur with sexual addiction should be integrated into the therapeutic process. Group-based treatments should also be attempted."


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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: Since only the abstract is available it's difficult to determine the quality of this literature review.


Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2012 Aug 29. (Epub ahead of print)
Sexual Addiction or Hypersexual Disorder: Different Terms for the Same Problem? A Review of The Literature.

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Sexual compulsivity among heterosexual college students

Sexual compulsivity among heterosexual college students | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it


"Although we found support for construct validity of the Sexual Compulsivity Scale in our sample (of 876 heterosexual college students), it is not clear whether the scale distinctly measures sexual compulsivity or taps into other constructs, such as sexual desire and sexual exploration."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment:  It can seem so very basic to an understanding of the nature of compulsivity, but many professionals in the field struggle to account for variable levels of desire when considering reasons for problematic sexual excesses. To say that some people aren't classically "addicted" or "compulsive" but instead have high levels of sexual desire that can get them in trouble doesn't dismiss the severity of their problem.  This explains some of the negative reaction generated by journal titles such as "Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, is related to neurophysiological response elicited by sexual images


Dodge, et. al., J Sex Res. 2004 Nov;41(4):343-50.

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Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, is related to neurophysiological responses elicited by sexual images

Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, is related to neurophysiological responses elicited by sexual images | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"This study was designed to determine whether sexual desire level alone, or a cluster of symptoms unique to hypersexuality, predict neural reactivity to sexual stimuli."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: This is really three stories in one:

  1. the article itself;
  2. the reaction it has generated in the professional community;
  3. the way it has been sensationalized worldwide in the last week.


There is so much going on in all three of these dimensions that it will take more than one brief note to make sense of it all.  To start from the outside in, here are some headlines appearing the last few days, showing the entire spectrum of reporting:

  • "New Study Questions If Sex Addiction is Real"
  • "Scans of Sex Addixts' Brains Call Diagnosis into Question"
  • "Sex Addicts Not Technically Addicts: Study"
  • "New Study Undermines Sex Addiction"
  • "Brain Scans Suggest That Sex Addiction Doesn't Exist"
  • "Sex Addiction: Not a Disease Any More"
  • "Hypersexuality is Not a Real Disorder"
  • "UCLA Study Says Sex Addiction Isn't a Real Disorder"
  • "Watching Porn Does Not Mean You're a Sex Addict"
  • "Neuroscientists Reveal Why Sex Addiction Isn't a Real Disorder"
  • "Sex Addiction is Fake, Study Shows"
  • "Study Asks If Sex Addiction Real Disorder or Just Some Sleazy Excuse"

Numerous articles have cropped up online with phrases such as:"Listen up, gals. Quit hiding behind that fake diagnosis of sex addiction. It turns out your mother was right all along. You’re just a ho."


One news source put it this way:  "Sex addiction is not a mental illness, as is often believed. Rather, it’s caused by a high libido. This has been proved scientifically for the first time by researchers at the University of California....."


The study "proved" no such thing, nor claimed that it did. In essence, it showed photographs, including those of a sexual nature, to a group of people who self-identified as meeting criteria for a proposed hypersexuality disorder, and found that their EEG readings did not respond as the researchers anticipated.   The entire article is available for review.  


Here's an interview with one of the investigators that goes into the design, findings and conclusions in more depth.


Not surprisingly, critiques that call into question various aspects of the study are beginning to appear. Many of them are happening in professional online discussion groups that cannot be curated.  But others are starting to be available online, with more surely to come.  

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Mindfulness, Emotional Dysregulation, Impulsivity, and Stress Proneness Among Hypersexual Patients

Mindfulness, Emotional Dysregulation, Impulsivity, and Stress Proneness Among Hypersexual Patients | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"The current study explores relationships between mindfulness, emotional regulation, impulsivity, and stress proneness in a sample of participants recruited in a (DSM-V) Field Trial for Hypersexual Disorder and healthy controls...... Our results show a robust inverse relationship of mindfulness to hypersexuality over and above associations with emotional regulation, impulsivity, and stress proneness. These results suggest that mindfulness may be a meaningful component of successful therapy among patients seeking help for hypersexual behavior in attenuating hypersexuality, improving affect regulation, stress coping, and increasing tolerance for desires to act on maladaptive sexual urges and impulses."


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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment:  This just-published article is notable for being the first study lending support for mindfulness as a plausible intervention for hypersexuality.  It's also the first time that the highly reputable journal Clinical Psychology has accepted an article on the topic of hypersexual behavior.  This study lends more support for the DSM-5 conceptualization of hypersexuality disorder.


Reid, R. C., Bramen, J. E., Anderson, A. and Cohen, M. S. (2013), Mindfulness, Emotional Dysregulation, Impulsivity, and Stress Proneness Among Hypersexual Patients. J. Clin. Psychol.. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22027

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Stephanie Anne Nairn's curator insight, July 18, 2013 10:58 AM

"...mindfulness may be a meaningful component of successful therapy among patients seeking help for hypersexual behavior in attenuating hypersexuality, improving affect regulation, stress coping, and increasing tolerance for desires to act on maladaptive sexual urges and impulses".

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Are nonparaphilic sexual addictions a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder? A pilot study

Are nonparaphilic sexual addictions a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder? A pilot study | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"Nonparaphilic sexual addictions (NPSAs)........have been proposed as an obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder. In the present study we examined the functional differences in repetitive sexual thoughts and compulsive behaviors between patients with OCD (n = 6) and with NPSAs (n = 6). Compared to patients with NPSAs, those with OCD reported significantly more fear and avoidance related to their sexual thoughts. Individuals with NPSAs reported higher levels of sexual arousal associated with their thoughts and a greater degree of sexual pleasure from performing compulsive behaviors. These preliminary findings challenge the notion that NPSAs are related to OCD......."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: Some people are keen to recast descriptions of sex addiction as a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  This study disputes that assumption, although the relevance of its findings may be diminished by its small sample size.


Schwartz, SA & Abromowitz, JS, Are nonparaphilic sexual addictions a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder? A pilot study. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 10(4) 372-377 (2003).


Abstract only.

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Dissociation and Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity: A Contextual Approach to Conceptualization and Treatment

Dissociation and Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity: A Contextual Approach to Conceptualization and Treatment | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

The possible relationship of dissociation to sexual addiction/compulsivity (SAC) among childhood sexual abuse (CSA) survivors is explored. In applying a treatment procedure based on functional behavioral analysis to CSA survivors exhibiting SAC it was frequently observed that SAC patterns of behavior were not sexually gratifying, but that clients had been previously unaware of this. These clients often had poor recall of even recent instances of SAC and described a subjective sense of being in a daze, truncated awareness, and absence of a sense of agency during SAC episodes. Repeated detailed description of recent incidents of SAC in session helped clients become less dissociative when subsequently participating in SAC behaviors and gradually reduced the appeal of engaging in them. On the basis of these observations it is argued that recognition of the dissociative quality of SAC behavior in CSA survivors is essential to adequately understanding it, and that targeting the dissociative elements of SAC in treatment is crucial to disrupting it. It is also proposed that in this clinical population SAC can reflect the dissociative disconnectedness represented by re-enactment of CSA experiences, failure to integrate emotional intimacy with sexuality due to insecure or disorganized attachment, association of sexual activity with soothing and validation rather than sexual arousal, or a combination of these factors.


Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: There didn't seem to be a way to summarize this abstract so it is presented in its entirety.  The idea of encouraging people who may be acting out their sexual behavior in a dissociative manner (which is not always the case with the broad population of people who repeatedly violate their sexual commitments in a way that feels out of thier control) to repeatedly recall the specifics of such incidents of "truncated awareness" in order to heighten self-awareness seems sound.


(2002). Dissociation and Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity: A Contextual Approach to Conceptualization and Treatment. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation: Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 59-82.

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Taylor Christensen's curator insight, January 9, 2014 12:17 PM

It is interesting to note that sexual addiction can be linked to this disorder. However, I wonder if the prior exposure to sexual abuse as children had an effect on whether or not this is prevalent in dissociative identity disorder victims. 

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Hypersexual Behavior in an Online Sample of Males: Associations with Personal Distress and Functional Impairment

Hypersexual Behavior in an Online Sample of Males: Associations with Personal Distress and Functional Impairment | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"The purpose of this study was to investigate personal distress and functional impairment in a community sample of male self-identified “sex addicts” and to explore the associations with related variables."


Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: Based soley on the abstract, this study seems to determine that people who self-identify as "sex addicts" generally expreience distress, often in personal relationships, which seems pretty obvious.  It would be nice to see the entire article.


Source: Spenhoff M, Kruger THC, Hartmann U, and Kobs J. Hypersexual behavior in an online sample of males: Associations with personal distress and functional impairment. Journal of Sexual Medicine. Article first published online: 11 APR 2013 (early view).

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Review of the Empirical Evidence for a Theoretical Model to Understand the Sexual Problems of Women with a History of CSA

Review of the Empirical Evidence for a Theoretical Model to Understand the Sexual Problems of Women with a History of CSA | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"(T)he relationship between hyposexuality and hypersexuality is relatively unexplored....... Because of the lack of information on these sexual problems, the present model was based on the assumption that, at least for some childhood sexual abuse (CSA) survivors, hyposexuality and hypersexuality coexist in the same individual. However, it is also possible that some CSA survivors develop only hyposexuality while others develop only hypersexuality. Future longitudinal studies on hyposexuality and hypersexuality can adequately explain the relationship and the course of these two problems in CSA survivors."


Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: It's a pleasant surprise to have free access to an entire article online (rather than just an abstract), especially one as comprehensive as this overview of theories that attempt to explain sexual dysfunction in women with a history of childhood sexual abuse.  Problems of definition and methodology are carefully described, as is the challenge of formulating theories that account for both hyposexual and hypersexual symptoms in women with childhood histories of sexual abuse.


Author: Alessandra Rellini PhD


Source: The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Vol. 5, No. 1, 31-46, January 2008.

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Mentalization-based therapy for sexual addiction: foundations for a clinical model

Mentalization-based therapy for sexual addiction: foundations for a clinical model | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

".....In our model of mentalization-based therapy for sexual addiction (MBT-SA) we hold that out-of-control sexual behaviour may often be a maladaptive psychological strategy to defend the individual against difficult or problematic thoughts and feelings......MBT, which can be used conjunctively alongside other therapeutic modes and techniques, provides a means for understanding and working with the client's unique and subjective experience of out-of-control sexual behaviour......"

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment:  This is the only article that applies the specific treatment protocol of mentalization-based therapy to this issue.


Authors: Michael Berry and Philip Berry


(2013). Sexual and Relationship Therapy.

Published online 11 Nov 2013


Abstract only.

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Hypersexual Behavior and HIV Sex Risk among Young Gay and Bisexual Men

Hypersexual Behavior and HIV Sex Risk among Young Gay and Bisexual Men | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"We examined the psychometric properties of the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory......in a sample of young men who self-identified as gay or bisexual and assessed its association with unprotected receptive anal intercourse partners and occasions.........In light of our findings, we discuss the importance of reexamining the theoretical assumptions of hypersexual behavior and propose HIV prevention strategies that may reduce young GBM's vulnerability to HIV infection."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

(2013). Hypersexual Behavior and HIV Sex Risk among Young Gay and Bisexual Men. Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 50:8.  Published online 10 October 2013.


Abstract only.

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The Sex Addiction Debate- A Dialectic

The Sex Addiction Debate- A Dialectic | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"All of the theories that we use to describe, represent, and interpret the complex dynamics of human behavior are only arbitrary mental constructs at best. As such, they are subject to all of the flaws to which any human behavior is subject, despite our best efforts to prevent such flaws."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: It's delightful to come across a reasoned and gentle essay devoted to a topic that often the subject of controversy and unfounded certainty.

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Lon Woodbury's curator insight, October 10, 2013 3:27 PM

A lot of common sense in this discussion on what we currently see as truth, diagnostics etc. -Lon

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The Relationship Between the FFM Personality Traits, State Psychopathology, and Sexual Compulsivity in a Sample of Male College Students

The Relationship Between the FFM Personality Traits, State Psychopathology, and Sexual Compulsivity in a Sample of Male College Students | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between stable traits of personality, state psychopathology, and sexual compulsivity in a sample of male college students. Furthermore, the potential mediating role of state psychopathology in the relationship between personality traits and sexual compulsivity was tested."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: The "FFM" in the title refers to the "Five Factor Model" to describe five broad domains or dimensions of personality.  The five factors are openness, conscientiousnessextraversionagreeableness, and neuroticism


Pinto, J., Carvalho, J. and Nobre, P. J. (2013), The Relationship Between the FFM Personality Traits, State Psychopathology, and Sexual Compulsivity in a Sample of Male College Students. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10: 1773–1782. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12185

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Problematic internet use and other risky behavior in college students: an application of problem-behavior theory

Problematic internet use and other risky behavior in college students: an application of problem-behavior theory | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"The present study examined college students' problematic Internet use (PIU) behaviors within the framework of Jessor and Jessor's (1977) problem-behavior theory. Its specific aim was to investigate the links between PIU with both internalizing (depression, social anxiety) and externalizing (substance use and other risky behaviors) problems......PIU did not share the characteristics typically associated with the traditional problem-behavior syndrome consistent with problem-behavior theory, but showed correlates more consistent with internalizing rather than externalizing problems."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: Although this article (note only the abstract is available) does not reference that the "PIU" of its subjects contained a sexual dimension, that can be pretty much assumed.  It is included here in part to introduce the concept of "problem-behavior theory", which is not referenced in any journal article typically read by professionals who self-identify as specializing in treating people with chronically problematic sexual behavior.


Citation: Problematic Internet use and other risky behaviors in college students: An application of problem-behavior theory. De Leo, Joseph Anthony; Wulfert, Edelgard Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Vol 27(1), Mar 2013, 133-141. doi: 10.1037/a0030823

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Compulsive sexual behavior in young adults

Compulsive sexual behavior in young adults | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"This epidemiological study aims to estimate the prevalence and health correlates of compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) using a large sample of students.The estimated prevalence of CSB was 2.0%. Compared with respondents without CSB, individuals with CSB reported more depressive and anxiety symptoms, higher levels of stress, poorer self-esteem, and higher rates of social anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, compulsive buying, pathological gambling, and kleptomania."


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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:


Curator comment: Prevalence studies remain few and far between.  


Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 2013;25(3):193-200.


Abstract only.

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Critque of Prause Study

Critque of Prause Study | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"This.....study at its foundation does not address the issue of whether individuals seeking help for sex addiction, hypersexuality, etc. are experiencing a legitimate problem. It asks whether an addiction theory is the best explanation for this problem or whether there are alternative explanations that help us better understand this phenomenon. That’s it! "

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment:  Amid a torrent of commentary that has generally been casting more heat than light on the subject, this comprehensive analysis of the recent research article that has been garnering so much attention over the last few days (see the curation and commentary) is a welcome addition to the conversation.

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Gary Wilson's comment, August 20, 2013 11:15 AM
This Rory Reid "critique," is actually a veiled defense of the Nicole Prause study, and much of it responds to grave concerns we raised in this post: "UCLA's SPAN Lab Touts Empty Porn Study As Ground-Breaking" - http://pornstudyskeptics.blogspot.com/2013/07/uclas-span-lab-touts-empty-porn-study.html
Unfortunately, Reid's critique does not adequately address the concerns we raised, as explained in this reply post "Rory Reid Reply & Our Response." http://pornstudyskeptics.blogspot.com/2013/07/reidprause-reply-our-response.html
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Perceived “Out of Control” Sexual Behavior in a Cohort of Young Adults from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study

Perceived “Out of Control” Sexual Behavior in a Cohort of Young Adults from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"Out of control sexual behavior, also known as compulsive sexual behavior or sexual addiction, has not been studied in a representative sample of the general population. At age 32 years, 940 (93%) of 1,015 members of the birth cohort of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study responded to a series of questions about sexual behavior........ Nearly 13% of men and 7% of women reported out of control sexual experiences (OCSE) in the past year...... Few believed that OCSE had interfered with their lives (3.8% of all men and 1.7% of all women in the cohort). Only 0.8% of men and 0.6% of women reported that their actual sexual behavior had interfered with their lives...... In conclusion, this population-based study has provided the first empirical estimations of the occurrence of OCSE and its relationship to a range of sexual behaviors in a representative sample.

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: Measures of the prevalence of the disordered behavior under scrutiny have been scarce and potentially subject to various forms of sampling bias and other methodological limitations, which is part of what makes the Dunedin Longitudinal Study particularly useful.  The fact that its results reflect substantially lower numbers than the "3 - 6%" prevalence which is often cited in various literature may be as least partially indicative of cultural differences between New Zealand and the United States, pointing to the almost non-existent studies of international variability in the professional literature.


Authors: Skegg, K., Nada-Raja, S., Dickson, N. and Paul, C

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Source: Arch Sex Behav, 2010 Aug;39(4):968-78.


Abstract only.

   

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What Is Dopamine for, Anyway? Love, Lust, Pleasure, Addiction?

What Is Dopamine for, Anyway? Love, Lust, Pleasure, Addiction? | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it


"Dopamine is the one neurotransmitter that everyone seems to know about. Vaughn Bell once called it the Kim Kardashian of molecules, but I don’t think that’s fair to dopamine."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: While this article doesn't directly address sexual compulsivity, the explanations and links it provides can be useful to someone who is grappling with all of the emerging studies about brain chemistry and behavioral addictions.  And the Kim Kardashian comment is priceless.

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Methodological Review of Treatments for Non-Paraphilic Hypersexual Behavior

Methodological Review of Treatments for Non-Paraphilic Hypersexual Behavior | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it


"Despite several attempts to explore treatments aimed at attenuating the symptoms of non-paraphilic hypersexual behavior, the findings from this review indicate that much of the outcome research in the field contains significant methodological limitations."


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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: Therapists who treat the various manifestations of chronically problematic sexual behavior, no matter what degree or discipline, have not exactly set the world on fire with well-designed, empirically-based outcome research, and the subject has not yet attracted a sizable number of behavioral health investigators (which is one reason why some of the same names consistently appear in higher-tier journals).  This article appears to substantiate this conclusion and point the way toward improving the quality of research the field is capable of producing.


Methodological Review of Treatments for Non-Paraphilic Hypersexual Behavior. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. . doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2012.751075

(Posted online June 14, 2013)


Abstract only.

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Mindfulness and Addictive Behaviors

Mindfulness and Addictive Behaviors | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"This study examined the relationship between mindfulness and various addictive behaviors (i.e. alcohol abuse, pathological gambling, sex addiction, and compulsive buying) in a community sample. A short but comprehensive composite measure of mindfulness was constructed...... Inverse correlations emerged between the nonjudgmental attitude and alcohol abuse, pathological gambling, and sexual addiction, ......The findings of this study support the use of mindfulness as a treatment for substance abuse and suggest the possible usefulness for the treatment of other addictive behaviors."

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Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: "Mindfulness", a state of nonjudgmental self-awareness, has become a popular topic in the field of behavioral health, and this article continues that trend.  The authors used the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Inventory (CSBI) to measure the sexual dimensions of their study.  It would have been nice if they had shown more consistency by avoiding using the phrases "sex addiction" and "sexual addiction" interchangeably and if they had defined the term other than via the CSBI (which does not use either term).  The "Composite Mindfulness Questionnaire" (which is included) is interesting.


Note: This article is currently available in its entirety through Open Access, which is always nice for those without university or other institutional access.


AMA cite: Spinella M, Martino S, Ferri C. Mindfulness and Addictive Behaviors. J Behav Health. 2013; 2(1): 1-7. doi:10.5455/jbh.20120908033138

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Online Therapist's curator insight, May 4, 2015 2:11 PM
Learn more about Online Mindfulness Therapy for the treatment of Anxiety and Depression and Addiction: http://www.counselingtherapyonline.com.Visit my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/pdmstrong.
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Scrupulosity: Where OCD Meets Religion, Faith, and Belief

Scrupulosity: Where OCD Meets Religion, Faith, and Belief | Current Topics in Sexual Compulsivity Research | Scoop.it

"Triggers for scrupulosity can be any thought, image, feeling, place, person, etc., that cues an obsession. For example, seeing an attractive person at church may result in sexual thoughts, which in turn trigger an obsessive desire to “undo” that thought in an effort to be pure, holy, and clean. If the scrupulous individual upholds an exaggerated belief that lustful thoughts in and of themselves will automatically result in eternal condemnation, the cycle begins."


Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT's insight:

Curator comment: Reading this article along with such entries as "The Brain of Someone With OCD is More Active When Faced With a Moral Dilemma" and "The Roles of Shame and Guilt in Hypersexual Behavior" will result in an appreciation for the strong influence of guilt in the cycle of repetitive engagement of unwanted sexual behavior.  This supports the finding in "A Treatment-Oriented Typology of Self-Identified Hypersexuality Referrals" that sexual guilt is a powerful influence on the decision of some people to self-identify as needing treatment for some asepct of hypersexuality.  It can be instructive to also read "Sexual Orientation Obsessions in OCD" to gain even more insight into the complex relationshio between guilt, fear and obsession which can be especially prevalent in certain forms of compulsive sexual behavior.  


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