Should Hypersexual Disorder be Classified as an Addiction?

Sex Addict Compulsivity. 2013;20(1-2):10.1080/10720162.2013.768132. doi: 10.1080/10720162.2013.768132.


Hypersexual behavior has been documented within clinical and research settings over the past decade. Despite recent research on hypersexuality and its associated features, many questions remain how best to define and classify hypersexual behavior. Proposed diagnostic criteria for Hypersexual Disorder (HD) have been proposed for the DSM-5 and a preliminary field trial has lent some support to the reliability and validity of the HD diagnosis. However, debate exists with respect to the extent to which the disorder might be categorized as a non-substance or behavioral addiction. In this article, we will discuss this debate in the context of data citing similarities and differences between hypersexual disorder, drug addictions, and pathological gambling. The authors of this paper conclude that despite many similarities between the features of hypersexual behavior and substance-related disorders, the research on HD at this time is in its infancy and much remains to be learned before definitively characterizing HD as an addiction at this time.

Keywords: behavioral addictions; gambling; hypersexual disorder; sex; substance abuse.