New Study Finds Increase In Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder
According to a survey, published November 9, 2018 in JAMA Network Open, 8.6 percent of people report experiencing distress or feeling unable to function normally due to problems controlling their sexual urges, feelings, and behaviors. Interpreting the survey results exposes issues that plague the entire field of this research.
Mental health professionals understand that people can feel pain over trying to control their sexual urges and feelings, or that people’s sexual compulsions can be harmful to themselves and others. Earlier this year, with some controversy, the World Health Organization, “WHO” introduced a new diagnosis to its 11th edition of the International Classification of Disease, a codebook widely used by hospitals and doctors: compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD). CSBD, according to the WHO, compulsive sexual behaviour disorder (CSBD) is characterized 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 include 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.”
“WHO agreed to list Compulsive Sexual Behavior… because WHO wanted to reduce barriers to treatment for the fraction of screenees who really need professional help.” But the DSM committee chose otherwise because it feared that labeling compulsive sexual behavior a mental disorder would only contribute to more stigma around sex and create false positives (people who might have some sex-related problems, but not to a degree that require treatment).
In the fall of 2016, they recruited more than 2,300 adults between the ages of 18 and 50 to take an online survey.
With answers on a one to five scale—ranging from never to very frequently, volunteers were asked “How often have you had sex or masturbated more than you wanted to?” and “How often have your sexual thoughts or behaviors interfered with your relationships?” Those who had a total score of 35 or more on the scale, called the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Inventory (CSBI), were considered to have distress or impairment associated with difficulty controlling their sexual urges, feelings and behaviors.
Overall, 8.6 percent of the group met that criteria, breaking down to 10.3 percent of men and 7 percent of women.
“The high prevalence of this sexual symptom has major public health relevance, according to Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper and its author, Njideka Agbo as a sociocultural problem and indicates a significant clinical problem that warrants attention from healthcare professionals. She comments, “Moreover, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and income differences suggest potential health disparities, point to the salience of sociocultural context of CSBD and argue for a treatment approach that accounts for minority health, gender ideology, and sociocultural norms and values surrounding sexuality and gender.”
Treatment approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, in-patient and out-patient treatment and the 30-point model for starting sexual and relationship recovery. There are also local Sex Addiction Anonymous meetings, Sex and Love Addiction meetings as well as intensive resources for individuals and couples.
To be assessed for sex or porn addiction, contact our office for a confidential interview. 901-248-6001.