Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 594–596 | Cite as

Hypersexual Disorder: A More Cautious Approach

  • Jason WintersEmail author
Letter to the Editor

Kafka (2009) has done an exemplary job of synthesizing disparate perspectives on dysregulated sexuality, and distilling the common elements into Hypersexual Disorder, a proposed new diagnosis for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There appears to be substantial clinical support for this disorder; however, strong empirical evidence demonstrating its validity is currently lacking. Further, previous criticisms of the theoretical assumptions underlying a dysregulated sexuality disorder, regardless of how it is conceptualized and labeled, have not yet been adequately addressed (e.g., Giles, 2006; Levine & Troiden, 1988; Moser, 1993; Rinehart & McCabe, 1997; Winters, Christoff, & Gorzalka, 2010). For these reasons, the addition of Hypersexual Disorder to the DSM may be premature.

To meet the DSM definition for a mental disorder, it must be shown that Hypersexual Disorder represents a psychological or behavioral syndrome that is the manifestation...


Sexual Behavior Negative Affect Risky Sexual Behavior Sexual Expression Sexual Fantasy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Black, D. W., Kehrberg, L. L. D., Flumerfelt, D. L., & Schlosser, S. S. (1997). Characteristics of 36 subjects reporting compulsive sexual behavior. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 243–249.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Coleman, E., Raymond, N. C., & McBean, A. (2003). Assessment and treatment of compulsive sexual behavior. Minnesota Medicine, 86(7), 42–47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cooper, A., Scherer, C. R., Boies, S., & Gordon, B. (1999). Sexuality on the Internet: From sexual exploitation to pathological expression. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 30, 154–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dodge, B., Reece, M., Cole, S. L., & Sandfort, T. G. M. (2004). Sexual compulsivity among heterosexual college students. Journal of Sex Research, 41, 343–350.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Giles, J. (2006). No such thing as excessive levels of sexual behavior [Letter to the Editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 641–642.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Gold, S. N., & Heffner, C. L. (1998). Sexual addiction: Many conceptions, minimal data. Clinical Psychology Review, 18, 367–381.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Goodman, A. (1997). Sexual addiction: diagnosis, etiology and treatment. In J. H. Lowenstein, R. B. Millman, P. Ruiz, & J. G. Langrod (Eds.), Substance abuse: A comprehensive textbook (3rd ed., pp. 340–354). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  9. Kafka, M. P. (1997). Hypersexual desire in males: An operational definition and clinical implications for males with paraphilias and paraphilia-related disorders. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 26, 505–526.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Kafka, M. P. (2009). Hypersexual disorder: A proposed diagnosis for DSM-V. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-009-9574-7.
  11. Kafka, M. P., & Hennen, J. (1999). The paraphilia-related disorders: An empirical investigation of nonparaphilic hypersexuality disorders in outpatient males. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 25, 305–319.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Kalichman, S. C., & Rompa, D. (1995). Sexual sensation seeking and sexual compulsivity scales: Reliability, validity, and predicting HIV risk behavior. Journal of Personality Assessment, 65, 586–601.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Kalichman, S. C., & Rompa, D. (2001). The Sexual Compulsivity Scale: Further development and use with HIV-positive persons. Journal of Personality Assessment, 76, 379–395.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Levine, M. P., & Troiden, R. R. (1988). The myth of sexual compulsivity. Journal of Sex Research, 25, 347–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Miner, M. H., Coleman, E., Center, B. A., Ross, M., & Rosser, B. R. S. (2007). The Compulsive Sexual Behavior Inventory: Psychometric properties. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 36, 579–587.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Moser, C. (1993). A response to Aviel Goodman’s ‘Sexual addiction: Designation and treatment’. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 19, 220–224.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Raymond, N. C., Coleman, E., & Miner, M. H. (2003). Psychiatric comorbidity and compulsive/impulsive traits in compulsive sexual behavior. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 44, 370–380.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Rinehart, N. L., & McCabe, M. P. (1997). Hypersexuality: Psychopathology or normal variant of sexuality? Sexual and Marital Therapy, 12, 45–60.Google Scholar
  19. Winters, J., Christoff, K., & Gorzalka, B. B. (2010). Dysregulated sexuality and high sexual desire: Distinct constructs? Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-009-9591-6.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forensic Psychiatric Services CommissionBritish Columbia Provincial Health Services AuthorityVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations