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      Sexual addiction, compulsivity, and impulsivity among a predominantly female sample of adults who use the internet for sex


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          Background and aims

          Compulsive sexual behavior is characterized by extensive sexual behavior and unsuccessful efforts to control excessive sexual behavior. The aim of the studies was to investigate compulsivity, anxiety and depression and impulsivity and problematic online sexual activities among adult males and females who use the Internet for finding sexual partners and using online pornography.


          Study 1- 177 participants including 143 women M = 32.79 years (SD = 9.52), and 32 men M = 30.18 years (SD = 10.79). The Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST), the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), Spielberger Trait-State Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T STAI-S) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Study 2- 139 participants including 98 women M = 24 years (SD = 5) and 41 men M = 25 years (SD = 4). The impulsivity questionnaire (BIS/BAS), Problematic online sexual activities (s-IAT-sex) and Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST).


          Study 1- Multiple regression analysis has indicated that a model which included BDI, Y-BOCS, and STAI scores contributed to the variance of sexual addiction rates, and explained 33.3% of the variance. Study 2- Multiple regression analysis indicated that BIS/BAS and s-IAT scores contributed to the variance of sexual addiction rates, and explained 33% of the variance.

          Discussion and conclusions

          Obsessive-compulsive symptoms contributed to sexual addiction among individuals who use the Internet for finding sexual partners. Impulsivity and problematic online sexual activity contributed to ratings of sex addiction. These studies support the argument that sex addiction lies on the impulsive-compulsive scale and could be classified as a behavioral addiction.

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          Most cited references55

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          An inventory for measuring depression.

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            Factor structure of the barratt impulsiveness scale

            The purpose of the present study was to revise the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale Version 10 (BIS-10), identify the factor structure of the items among normals, and compare their scores on the revised form (BIS-11) with psychiatric inpatients and prison inmates. The scale was administered to 412 college undergraduates, 248 psychiatric inpatients, and 73 male prison inmates. Exploratory principal components analysis of the items identified six primary factors and three second-order factors. The three second-order factors were labeled Attentional Impulsiveness, Motor Impulsiveness, and Nonplanning Impulsiveness. Two of the three second-order factors identified in the BIS-11 were consistent with those proposed by Barratt (1985), but no cognitive impulsiveness component was identified per se. The results of the present study suggest that the total score of the BIS-11 is an internally consistent measure of impulsiveness and has potential clinical utility for measuring impulsiveness among selected patient and inmate populations.
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              Introduction to behavioral addictions.

              Several behaviors, besides psychoactive substance ingestion, produce short-term reward that may engender persistent behavior, despite knowledge of adverse consequences, i.e., diminished control over the behavior. These disorders have historically been conceptualized in several ways. One view posits these disorders as lying along an impulsive-compulsive spectrum, with some classified as impulse control disorders. An alternate, but not mutually exclusive, conceptualization considers the disorders as non-substance or "behavioral" addictions. Inform the discussion on the relationship between psychoactive substance and behavioral addictions. We review data illustrating similarities and differences between impulse control disorders or behavioral addictions and substance addictions. This topic is particularly relevant to the optimal classification of these disorders in the forthcoming fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). Growing evidence suggests that behavioral addictions resemble substance addictions in many domains, including natural history, phenomenology, tolerance, comorbidity, overlapping genetic contribution, neurobiological mechanisms, and response to treatment, supporting the DSM-V Task Force proposed new category of Addiction and Related Disorders encompassing both substance use disorders and non-substance addictions. Current data suggest that this combined category may be appropriate for pathological gambling and a few other better studied behavioral addictions, e.g., Internet addiction. There is currently insufficient data to justify any classification of other proposed behavioral addictions. Proper categorization of behavioral addictions or impulse control disorders has substantial implications for the development of improved prevention and treatment strategies.

                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                07 April 2020
                April 2020
                April 2020
                : 9
                : 1
                : 83-92
                [1] deptDepartment of Behavioral Science , univAriel University , Science Park, Ariel, 40700, Israel
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. deptDepartment of Behavioral Science and Integrative Brain and Cognition Center , univUniversity of Ariel , Ariel, Israel. Tel.: 972-3-9076555; fax: 972-3-9066629. E-mail: avivweinstein@ 123456yahoo.com ; avivwe@ 123456ariel.ac.il
                Author information
                © 2020 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), 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.

                : 03 February 2019
                : 09 July 2019
                : 23 August 2019
                : 26 September 2019
                : 31 October 2019
                : 04 December 2019
                : 25 January 2020
                Page count
                Tables: 06, Equations: 0, References: 55, Pages: 10
                Full-Length Report

                sexual addiction,compulsive sexual behavior,hypersexuality,compulsivity,impulsivity,online pornography


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