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Study: Almost 9% of Americans Have Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder

Study: Almost 9% of Americans Have Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder In a recent study, almost 9% of participants had trouble coping with sexual feelings, urges and behaviors.

The medical term for this situation is compulsive sexual behavior disorder. It is sometimes called sex addiction or hypersexuality.

People with this disorder are preoccupied with sexual fantasies and urges to the point that the obsession impairs their daily functioning, making them distressed. They may try to control their urges but find it difficult to do so. The disorder can damage relationships, interfere with employment, and lead to risky sexual encounters.  

The study findings, published in JAMA Network Open, were based on a nationally representative sample of 2325 men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 living in the United States. About half the participants were women; the rest were men.

The group completed a questionnaire called the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Inventory, a screening tool for this disorder.

Ten percent of the men and seven percent of the women met the clinical criteria for compulsive sexual behavior disorder.

Healthcare providers “should be alert to the high number of people who are distressed about their sexual behavior,” the authors wrote.

If you feel that your sexual feelings or urges are beyond your control and causing distress, don’t hesitate to see your doctor. Compulsive sexual behavior disorder can often be managed with psychotherapy and medication. Support groups can also help.


HealthDay via WebMD

Gordon, Serena

“Nearly 1 In 10 in U.S. Battle Sexual Urges”

(November 9, 2018)

JAMA Network Open

Dickenson, Janna A., PhD, et al.

“Prevalence of Distress Associated With Difficulty Controlling Sexual Urges, Feelings, and Behaviors in the United States”

(Abstract. November 9, 2018)

Mayo Clinic

“Compulsive Sexual Behavior”

(October 5, 2017)


Wilson, F. Perry, MD, MSCE

“'Sex Addiction' in 10% of US Men, 7% of Women?”

(November 13, 2018)