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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Essay on Sex Addiction


      Dictionary.com defines addiction as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” Addiction is a form of slavery whereby a person becomes a slave of a certain substance such as over the counter drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol, nicotine, food or even sex.  Sex addiction, on the other hand, is a condition of a man or woman who has an unusually intense sex drive or an obsession with sex.  The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity defines sexual addiction as "engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite increasing negative consequences to self and others." 

Sexual addiction can be described as a disorder that is characterized by engaging in a lot of sexual thoughts and acts. For persons who have this condition sex dominates their mind to the point that it interferes with the person’s life, lifestyle and even frame of mind.  It is a form of dependence to sex despite its adverse consequences.

There is no Sex Addiction
            While the term sex addiction is very common nowadays with the coming out of David Duchovny a famous Hollywood celebrity who went to a rehab for his condition, currently, there is still a controversy over the issue of whether sex addiction should be recognized as a medical condition. 

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The controversy started in the year 1985 when Patrick Carnes published a book called “Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction.” While there are a number of researches suggesting that there are people who are addicted to sex in the same manner that some people are addicted to alcohol, nicotine or drugs, psychologists, psychiatrists and social scientists are apprehensive about the term sex addiction.

It is their argument that alcohol addiction, drug addiction and nicotine addiction which are scientifically recognized medical conditions are not similar with sex addiction.  For them people should not be confused with the heightened desire for sex and sex addiction.   According to Lennard Davis, sex addiction is not currently recognized as a medical condition.  There is no such malady otherwise the disorder would have been included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a complete repository of all addictions and disorders known to man.  Currently, sex addiction is not included in this list. 

What does appear in this list is the term paraphilias which is defined as the “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving (1) nonhuman objects, (2) the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner, or (3) children or other nonconsenting persons.” Thus, while the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders acknowledges sexual compulsions, it only recognizes sexual compulsion in the context of some sexual object, scene or person.

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