Research Reveals Sex Addiction is NOT REAL
The American association of sexuality educators, counselors and therapists (aasect), released a statement over the weekend regarding sex addiction. As many of you know as a sex educator I do not support the term sex addiction and the news I received via email backed my personal and professional beliefs. The aasect declared that sex addiction IS NOT REAL.
Here are the two main statements they released on the matter:
Does not find sufficient empirical evidence to support the classification of sex addiction or porn addiction as a mental health disorder
Does not find the sexual addiction training, treatment methods and educational pedagogies to be adequately informed by accurate human sexuality knowledge.Therefore, it is the position of AASECT that linking problems related to sexual urges, thoughts or behaviors to a porn/sexual addiction process cannot be advanced by AASECT as a standard of practice for sexuality education delivery, counseling or therapy.
Over years there have many studies on sex addiction and yet there hasn’t been a single case which actually shows a high sex drive as addiction.
“As the leading national body of sexuality educators, counselors and therapists, AASECT does, however, recognize that people may experience significant physical, psychological, spiritual and sexual health consequences related to their sexual urges, thoughts or behaviors. Says Douglas Braun – Harvey, LMFT, CGP, CST, one of the authors of the statement, “These are real problems, but sex therapy counseling and education requires a higher standard of sexual science to ensure sexual rights and sexual health. The sex addiction concept is an oversimplification of a complex area of human sexual behavior and is not substantiated by sexual science and sex therapy. I think the most important thing to remember is that there are people who are suffering from their sexual behavior being out of control, but what ends up happening is that the suffering, the fear and the consequences it brings to their careers and families get prematurely and very quickly labeled sex addiction.”
The Amazing and well-respected sex researcher Debby Herbenick even states:
“The topic of sex addiction has been contentious for many years, with a large body of scientific research indicating that sex addiction has not been well defined or operationalized,” says AASECT President, Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, CSE. “Contemporary research indicates that individuals’ problematic sexual behavior may often be better explained by other factors, including a high sex drive, mental health issues (e.g., depression, anxiety) or culturally influenced guilt or shame.”
This isn’t new throughout history sex addiction has been used as a moral panic term. Porn is one of the topics, that is particularly focused on when it comes to porn addiction, in this age of technology, however, recent research shows that porn viewing does not interfere with feelings of love within a relationship.
“What the replication studies revealed is that, contrary to the original study, exposure to images of Playboy and Penthouse centerfolds was not linked to feelings of less love for or attraction to one’s partner among men (incidentally, the same was true for women exposed to Playgirl centerfolds vs. abstract art, which is consistent with the original study).” From “3 Studies Refute Idea that Exposure to Sexy Centerfolds Harms Men’s Relationships” by Dr. Lehmiller’s blog post on the study.
As a sex educator and someone who has in the past been used as a scapegoat in media moral panic on sex addiction I have found that there really isn’t a maximum limit for the human sex drive and that far too many people are feeling shame over their personal and social beliefs regarding what is too much or too little. It’s sad that in this day and age that people’s sexual wellbeing is being targeted for the gain of selling products and newspapers. I’m very pleased to hear that the aasect still feels that sex addiction isn’t real, and hopefully more professional organisations will start backing factual sex research so people can evolve happily in their sex lives without guilt. At a time of internet censorship studies and research like this are needed more and more and to be shared with others so we can break the taboo.