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      Hypersexual behavior in a large online sample: Individual characteristics and signs of coercive sexual behavior


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          Background and aims

          Despite the high prevalence of perceived problems relating to symptoms of hypersexual disorder (HD), important aspects remain underinvestigated. This study examines symptoms of depression, symptoms of problematic cybersex, and coercive sexual behavior in a large online sample from a German-speaking population.


          In an online survey, N = 1,194 ( n = 564 women) participated in this study and completed measures including self-report questionnaires to assess depressive symptoms (PHQ-9), HD (HBI-19), symptoms of problematic cybersex (s-IATsex), as well as questions characterizing participants sexually, including fantasies and actual sexual coercive behaviors.


          Men reported increased levels of HD symptom severity, pornography consumption, masturbation, and partnered sexual activity. Moreover, 59% of men and 18% of women reported fantasies of sexual coercion, whereas 21% of men and 4% of women reported acts of sexual coercion. Moderated regression analyses showed that symptoms of depression as well as sexual coercive fantasies and behaviors were associated with levels of HD symptom severity. Problematic cybersex, total sexual outlet (TSO), pornography consumption, and number of sexual partners were also associated with HD symptom severity. Interaction effects indicated that, in women, the connection of TSO as well as pornography was more strongly associated with levels of HD symptom severity than in men.


          This survey indicated that levels of HD symptom severity are often associated with severe intra- and interpersonal difficulties. Furthermore, the amount of sexual activity seems to be more strongly connected to levels of HD symptom severity in women than in men.

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          Most cited references53

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          Hypersexual disorder: a proposed diagnosis for DSM-V.

          Hypersexual Disorder is proposed as a new psychiatric disorder for consideration in the Sexual Disorders section for DSM-V. Historical precedents describing hypersexual behaviors as well as the antecedent representations and proposals for inclusion of such a condition in the previous DSM manuals are reviewed. Epidemiological as well as clinical evidence is presented suggesting that non-paraphilic "excesses" of sexual behavior (i.e., hypersexual behaviors and disorders) can be accompanied by both clinically significant personal distress and social and medical morbidity. The research literature describing comorbid Axis I and Axis II psychiatric disorders and a purported relationship between Axis I disorders and Hypersexual Disorder is discussed. Based on an extensive review of the literature, Hypersexual Disorder is conceptualized as primarily a nonparaphilic sexual desire disorder with an impulsivity component. Specific polythetic diagnostic criteria, as well as behavioral specifiers, are proposed, intended to integrate empirically based contributions from various putative pathophysiological perspectives, including dysregulation of sexual arousal and desire, sexual impulsivity, sexual addiction, and sexual compulsivity.
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            Sexuality and the Internet: Surfing into the New Millennium

            Al Cooper (1998)
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              Assessing risk for sexual recidivism: some proposals on the nature of psychologically meaningful risk factors.

              Risk assessment and treatment for sexual offenders should focus on individual characteristics associated with recidivism risk. Although it is possible to conduct risk assessments based purely on empirical correlates, the most useful evaluations also explain the source of the risk. In this review, the authors propose that the basic requirements for a psychologically meaningful risk factor are (a) a plausible rationale that the factor is a cause of sexual offending and (b) strong evidence that it predicts sexual recidivism. Based on the second of these criteria, the authors categorize potential risk factors according to the strength of the evidence for their relationship with offending. The most strongly supported variables should be emphasized in both assessment and treatment of sexual offenders. Further research is required, however, to establish causal connections between these variables and recidivism and to examine the extent to which changes in these factors leads to reductions in recidivism potential.

                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                23 May 2019
                June 2019
                : 8
                : 2
                : 213-222
                [1 ]Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Division of Clinical Psychology and Sexual Medicine, Hannover Medical School , Hannover, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Jannis Engel; Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany; Phone: +49 511 532 2631; Fax: +49 511 8407; E-mail: engel.jannis@ 123456mh-hannover.de
                © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                : 30 October 2018
                : 05 March 2019
                : 15 March 2019
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 45, Pages: 10
                Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.
                Full-Length Report

                hypersexuality,compulsive sexual behavior disorder,sexual coercion,depressive symptoms,problematic cybersex


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