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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Essay on Arguments against Sex Addiction

            According to Chester Schmidt, a California psychiatrist, sexual addiction is a myth.  While it is an attractive concept there are still no studies or scientific basis that can be used to support the assumption (Neil D. Rosenberg, 1998, p.1).  He explained that the term addiction refers to a chemical process that takes place in the brain by virtue of which the individual acquires a tolerance, physical dependence, uncontrollable craving to a certain substance like over the counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol.  Because of too much dependence on the addictive substance stopping is vey difficult.  When this substance is removed the addicted person will likely suffer physical and mental effects from the withdrawal.  Sexual addiction just does not fit into this concept of addiction.

            Psychiatrists, psychologists and social scientists question the use of the term sex addiction.  One of their arguments is that no matter how self-destructive the desire for sex is it cannot lead to an addiction in the same manner as an over the counter drug or an illegal drug or alcohol.  It does not matter how bad the behavior is or how shocking the behavior is.  Sex which is instinctual and physiological drive can never be addictive.  Otherwise, there would be nothing that will prevent others from coming up with names such as a facebook addiction or tweeter addiction or basketball addiction.  Accepting and recognizing sexual addiction will only blur the line between a pathological condition and a behavior that is merely excessive.

Those who argue against the recognition of sex addiction as a medical condition believe that there must be tangible proof that a person is indeed addicted to sex.  As of now there is yet no formal study conducted to determine the number of Americans who may have heightened desire for sex to the point that it has become an uncontrollable behavioral pattern.  There is still no scientific study that will prove the same.    

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Others say that the chemical reactions which take place in the body which as proponents of sexual addiction say may lead to addiction are in fact natural and spontaneous reactions of the body.   Sex is a natural and instinctive reaction.  There can never be an addiction over something that is natural to man. 

Moreover, the biggest argument against sex addiction is that the claim that the brain emits chemicals in the brain which causes chemical reaction that leads man to become addicted to sex cannot be validated.  If it is addiction to alcohol it is relatively easier to determine when the level of alcoholic intake becomes excessive.  If it is addiction to drugs, it is also relatively easier to determine when the level of drug intake becomes excessive.  If it is addiction to nicotine, it is also relatively easier to determine when the level of nicotine use becomes excessive.  But the same standard does not apply sex addiction.  When is sex beyond normal? What is the acceptable level of frequency of masturbation to be considered normal? When does the desire for sex become intense to the point that it is abnormal?

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