Hypersexuality, Gender, and Sexual Orientation: A Large-Scale Psychometric Survey Study

Arch Sex Behav. 2018 Nov;47(8):2265-2276. doi: 10.1007/s10508-018-1201-z. Epub 2018 Jun 20.


Criteria for hypersexual disorder (HD) were proposed for consideration in the DSM-5 but ultimately excluded for a variety of reasons. Regardless, research continues to investigate hypersexual behavior (HB). The Hypersexual Behavior Inventory (HBI) is one of the most robust scales assessing HB, but further examination is needed to explore its psychometric properties among different groups. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the generalizability of the HBI in a large, diverse, non-clinical sample (N = 18,034 participants; females = 6132; 34.0%; Mage = 33.6 years, SDage = 11.1) across both gender and sexual orientation. Measurement invariance testing was carried out to ensure gender- and sexual orientation-based comparisons were meaningful. Results demonstrated when both gender and sexual orientation were considered (i.e., heterosexual males vs. LGBTQ males vs. heterosexual females vs. LGBTQ females), LGBTQ males had significantly higher latent means on the HBI factors. Results also demonstrated LGBTQ males had the highest scores on other possible indicators of hypersexuality (e.g., frequency of masturbation, number of sexual partners, or frequency of pornography viewing). These findings suggest LGBTQ males may be a group most at risk of engaging in hypersexual behavior, and LGBTQ females are at a higher risk of engaging in hypersexual activities due to coping problems. Given the large-scale nature of the study, the findings contribute to the currently growing body of the literature on hypersexuality.

Keywords: DSM-5; Gender; Hypersexuality; Measurement invariance; Pornography; Sexual orientation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Compulsive Behavior*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Erotica
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masturbation
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraphilic Disorders / classification
  • Paraphilic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychometrics
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Partners