Ads by Google

Is Sex Addiction Real?

0

There is a wide debate about the reality of sex addiction and whether it is an actual disorder. Almost everyone can think of a famous rock star, pro athlete or Hollywood actor that has been part of a sex scandal today. When antisocial sexual behavior is on the evening news, it is easy to dismiss such actions as the antics of the privileged. Yet is this really the case?

Sex addicts and their therapists would argue that sexual addiction falls into the same behavior criterion as gambling. Although not directly a result of having a substance disorder, sexual addiction can be defined as a behavior pattern that is nearly impossible for the addict to break. The sexually addicted individual claims that sex dominates their life, as they spend enormous amounts of time thinking, fantasizing and in the pursuit of sexual gratification. This relentless pursuit causes them to develop a tolerance to sexual stimulation, so they need ever more risky, dangerous and deviant activities to reach full release.

1. Hypersexuality: Sex addicts claim to be afflicted with hypersexual disorder, this is also called hypersexuality. Although support groups and therapy exists to deal with hypersexual disorder, both hypersexuality or sex addiction are not officially recognized as medical conditions. As demonstrated by the American Psychiatric Association not including them in their DMS-5 listings of legitimate disorders. Neither one even warranted being scheduled for section three holding, meaning needing further research and study. For most psychologists and medical practitioners sex addiction and hypersexuality are not real. The only area of study that has given any credence to the reality of sex addiction is the field of neuroscience, but such research is a long way off.

2. A Very Rigid Gender System: Perhaps some of the problems defining sex addiction come from the very rigid gender system used by scientific inquiry. An overwhelming majority of individuals that claim to be sexually addicted are men. As such, the characteristic behaviors associated with sex addiction and hypersexual disorder, also are seen as stereotypical male sexuality. A stereotypical male is engaging in cybersex, pornography, multiple sex partners, visiting strip clubs, chronic masturbation and engaging in higher risk behavior as a norm. The most disturbing thing is how this maybe causing an extremely skewed gender bias over all. If 3 to 6 percent of the American population are sex addicts, then 80 to 85 percent of them are men. Since men are seeking treatment as sex addicts in greater numbers, the 15 to 20 percent of women aren’t well represented or being included in the majority of the data currently.

3. Hypermasculinity: As increasingly rigid gender roles create impossible standards for men trying to live a sexually normal lifestyle, a culture forms that glorifies this abnormality. The blurred lines of male sexuality in modern day culture are the cause of hypermasculinity, or how we encourage men to act out hypersexually and emulate traits associated with being sex addicts. In fact, most men understand that their masculinity will be called into question, if they don’t choose to demonstrate some level of hypersexual behavior. Women are impacted by this majorly, since the stereotypical role of women is centered around catching, keeping and being the sexual object of their male partners. Although this is clearly a dysfunctional view, many women are engaging in sexually addictive behavior patterns in order to engage the new hypermasculinity of our age.

4. The Harsh Reality of Sexism: As the genders succumb to these stereotypes, we label men as players and women as sluts. Although sex addiction and hypersexual disorder are not conclusively proven, the effects are very real for all those that suffer their lifestyle choices sexually. Even if sex addiction isn’t about a true psychological or physiological condition, it is a behavior pattern that afflicts many members our society and deserves our compassion.

It is a harsh reality that sexism still dominates the world of science, medicine and psychology today. If research into sex addiction is to be of any value, it must address the rigid gender roles our social systems currently associate with human sexuality. Social stigmas and double standards need to be addressed, but also understood for the role they play in creating an environment of hypersexual tension for both men and women everywhere.

So is sex addiction real?

For those who say no, sex addiction is a symptom of deeper problems that are only masked by terms like hypersexuality. The significance of sexuality isn’t about addictive behavior patterns, but rather finding a way to overcome the psychological issues underlying that cause men and women to become imbalanced mentally.

For those who say yes, their sex addiction is a reality and they are overwhelmed by trying to understand their sexual behavior patterns. Their lives are ultimately impacted with effects that everyone around them sees, but justifies. Those who feel sexually powerless aren’t alone, but their lives are unmanageable, without a sense of hope and desperate for change.

Perhaps we are all just asking the wrong question.

Photo: Shutterstock/Guryanov Andrey

Rate this post

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.