Gender Stereotypes and Sex Addiction

Category : Getting Help

Gender Stereotypes and Sex AddictionJust the word sex brings up stereotypes, especially along the lines of gender roles. Sex addiction has its own set of stereotypes, with some people believing men are more interested in sex and more likely to become addicted to it. However, sex addiction is associated with a serious set of behaviors that can drastically alter the quality of life for patients. Both sexes feel guilt after numerous sexual encounters with strangers, but women may be less likely to admit a sex addiction and may experience more negative consequences from family and friends after a sex addiction surfaces.

What Is Sex Addiction?

Some behaviors associated with sex addiction are part of normal behavior, such as masturbation. When individuals engage in sexual behaviors so much that it interferes with their social lives, employment or pushes them to commit illegal acts, they need outside help to return to a healthy lifestyle. A person with a sex addiction thinks about sex almost constantly. She may deny she has a problem or blame her actions on others. While the American Psychiatric Association does not have a definition for sex addiction in its manual, it released a description of hypersexual disorder in 2010. Symptoms of the disorder include the following behaviors:

  • Spends too much time on sexual fantasies and sexual behaviors
  • Commits sexual acts repetitively due to a certain mood, for example anxiety or depression
  • Commits sexual acts repetitively to deal with stress
  • Fails to control or limit sexual fantasies and behavior
  • Commits sexual acts even when there is a risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others

These issues are dangerous and can lead to debilitating consequences.

Sex Addiction and Women

Sex addiction causes feelings of shame and loneliness for men and women, but it can have a unique impact on women. Sex addicts turn to multiple sexual encounters with anonymous partners to escape from problems. Common myths about women are debunked in the Psychology Today article “Unseen and unnoticed: women and sex addiction,” which includes the following clarifications:

  • Women do not use the same language about sex that men use, which makes it necessary to rephrase the common questions used to determine a sex addiction. For example, instead of asking, “Do you engage in anonymous sex?” an interviewer could ask, “Are you sexual with someone you just met?”
  • Female sex addicts seek out sex to have sex. They are not looking for love or a relationship.
  • Women may use sex to feel powerful. They engage in sexual acts to overcome past trauma, such as sexual or emotional abuse.
  • Women who are addicted to sex face additional consequences, such as unwanted pregnancy, an added level of shame and more negative consequences in society

Women who suffer these issues can seek professional help to recover.

Sex Addiction Treatment

Call our toll-free helpline today to find treatment for sex addiction. We answer questions 24 hours a day to give family members, friends and addicts the help they need to get well. Take action today and become healthy and productive once more.