Understanding the roles of shame and neuroticism in a patient sample of hypersexual men

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Apr;199(4):263-7. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182125b96.


Although shame and facets of neuroticism have independently been linked to hypersexuality, the present study extends these findings by exploring pathways among these variables, using structural equation modeling in a patient sample of hypersexual adult men (N = 95). Results suggested that the domain of neuroticism, as represented by the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised, was a significant direct predictor of hypersexuality, with specific variance from the facet of impulsivity adding additional predictive power. Shame's bivariate association with hypersexuality was also significant, but in a predictive path model the effect of shame on hypersexuality was indirectly mediated through neuroticism and was not an independently significant predictor. Implications for treatment suggest that clinicians working with this population should evaluate precipitating risk factors to consider whether shame is activating neurotic coping or if other stressors might be influencing emotional instability that can trigger hypersexuality. Independent of the general distress associated with neuroticism, the literature on impulsivity might provide other valuable insights and direction for working with hypersexual men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology*
  • Shame*
  • Young Adult