Should Compulsive Sexual Behavior be Considered an Addiction?


Kraus, Shane W.; Voon, Valerie; and Potenza, Marc N.


2016 in Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol. 41, pp. 385–386

  • This review article looks at behavioral addiction studies related to compulsive sexual behavior and concludes that there are many overlapping features that exist between compulsive sexual behavior and substance use disorders.
Aims: To review the evidence base for classifying compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) as a non‐substance or ‘behavioral’ addiction. Methods: Data from multiple domains (e.g. epidemiological, phenomenological, clinical, biological) are reviewed and considered with respect to data from substance and gambling addictions. Results: Overlapping features exist between CSB and substance use disorders. Common neurotransmitter systems may contribute to CSB and substance use disorders, and recent neuroimaging studies highlight similarities... READ FULL ABSTRACT
  • "With the release of DSM‐5, gambling disorder was re‐classified with substance use disorders. This change challenged beliefs that addiction occurred only by ingesting of mind‐altering substances and has significant implications for policy, prevention and treatment strategies. Data suggest that excessive engagement in other behaviors (e.g. gaming, sex, compulsive shopping) may share clinical, genetic, neurobiological and phenomenological parallels with substance addictions"
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