Dysregulated Sexuality and High Sexual Desire: Distinct Constructs?
- 620 Downloads
The literature on dysregulated sexuality, whether theoretical, clinical or empirical, has failed to differentiate the construct from high sexual desire. In this study, we tested three hypotheses which addressed this issue. A sample of 6458 men and 7938 women, some of whom had sought treatment for sexual compulsivity, addiction or impulsivity, completed an online survey comprised of various sexuality measures. Men and women who reported having sought treatment scored significantly higher on measures of dysregulated sexuality and sexual desire. For men, women, and those who had sought treatment, dysregulated sexuality was associated with increased sexual desire. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a one-factor model, indicating that, in both male and female participants, dysregulated sexuality and sexual desire variables loaded onto a single underlying factor. The results of this study suggest that dysregulated sexuality, as currently conceptualized, labelled, and measured, may simply be a marker of high sexual desire and the distress associated with managing a high degree of sexual thoughts, feelings, and needs.
KeywordsDysregulated sexuality Sexual compulsivity Hypersexuality Sexual desire Sexual addiction Sexual behaviour Sexual control
We are indebted to Dan Savage for his assistance with data collection, and Dr. Bruno Zumbo for sharing his statistical expertise.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Anthony, D. T., & Hollander, E. (1993). Sexual compulsions. In E. Hollander (Ed.), Obsessive compulsive-related disorders (pp. 139–150). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.Google Scholar
- Bradford, J. M. W. (2001). The neurobiology, neuropharmacology and pharmacological treatment of the paraphilias and compulsive sexual behavior. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 46, 26–34.Google Scholar
- Calkins, D. S. (1974). Some effects of non-normal distribution shape on the magnitude of the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient. Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 8, 261–288.Google Scholar
- Carnes, P. J. (1983). Out of the shadows: Understanding sexual addiction. Minneapolis, MN: CompCare.Google Scholar
- Coleman, E. (1986). Sexual compulsion vs. sexual addiction: The debate continues. SIECUS Report, 14(6), 7–11.Google Scholar
- Coleman, E. (2003). Compulsive sexual behavior: What to call it, how to treat it? SIECUS Report, 31(5), 12–16.Google Scholar
- CompCare. (1987). Hope and recovery: A twelve step guide for healing from compulsive sexual behavior. Minneapolis, MN: Author.Google Scholar
- Derogatis, L. R. (1977). The SCL-90-R manual I: Scoring, administration, and procedures for the SCL-90-R. Baltimore, MD: Clinical Psychometrics.Google Scholar
- Dixon, R., & Turner, R. (2007). Electronic vs. conventional surveys. In R. A. Reynolds, R. Woods, & J. D. Baker (Eds.), Handbook of research on electronic surveys and measurements (pp. 105–111). Hershey, PA: Idea Group Inc.Google Scholar
- Kafka, M. P. (2000). The paraphilia-related disorders: Nonparaphilic hypersexuality and sexual compulsivity/addiction. In S. R. Leiblum & R. C. Rosen (Eds.), Principles and practice of sex therapy (3rd ed., pp. 471–503). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Kafka, M. P. (2009). Hypersexual disorder: A proposed diagnosis for DSM-V. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-009-9574-7.
- Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Philadelphia: Saunders.Google Scholar
- Laumann, E. O., Gagnon, J. H., Michael, R. T., & Michaels, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Leedes, R. (2007). Compulsive or other problematic sexual behavior. In A. F. Owens & M. S. Tepper (Eds.), Sexual health: State-of-the-art treatments and research (Vol. 4, pp. 365–381). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Meyerson, P., & Tryon, W. W. (2003). Validating internet research: A test of psychometric equivalence of internet and in-person samples. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments and Computers, 35, 614–620.Google Scholar
- Moser, C. (1992). A response to Aviel Goodman’s ‘Sexual addiction: Designation and treatment’. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 19, 220–224.Google Scholar
- Paulhus, D. (1988). Assessing self-deception and impression management in self-reports: The Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia.Google Scholar
- Paulhus, D. (1991). Measurement and control of response bias. In J. P. Robinson, P. R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (pp. 17–59). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Reynolds, R. A., Woods, R., & Baker, J. D. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook of research on electronic surveys and measurements. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Reference.Google Scholar
- Roberts, L. D. (2007). Equivalence of electronic and off-line measures. In R. A. Reynolds, R. Woods, & J. D. Baker (Eds.), Handbook of research on electronic surveys and measurements (pp. 97–103). Hershey, PA: Idea Group Inc.Google Scholar
- Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (1996). Using multivariate statistics. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
- Tepper, M. S., Owens, A. F., Coleman, E., & Carnes, P. (2007). Current controversies in sexual health: Sexual addiction and compulsion. In A. F. Owens & M. S. Tepper (Eds.), Sexual health: State-of-the-art treatments and research (Vol. 4, pp. 349–363). Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.Google Scholar