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The term sexual dependence is also used to refer to people who report being unable to control their sexual urges, behaviors, or thoughts.
Related models of pathological sexual behavior include hypersexuality (nymphomania and satyriasis), erotomania, Don Juanism (or Don Juanitaism), and paraphilia-related disorders.
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There is considerable debate amongst psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists, and other specialists over the whether compulsive sexual behavior constitutes an addiction, and therefore its classification and possible diagnosis.
As of 2017, sexual addiction is not a clinical diagnosis in either the DSM or ICD medical classifications of diseases and medical disorders.
Some argue that applying such concepts to normal behaviors such as sex, can be problematic, and suggest that applying medical models such as addiction to human sexuality can serve to pathologise normal behavior and cause harm Neuroscientists, pharmacologists, molecular biologists, and other researchers in related fields have identified the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of addiction pathophysiology.
Diagnostic models, which use the pharmacological model of addiction (this model associates addiction with drug-related concepts, particularly physical dependence, drug withdrawal, and drug tolerance), do not currently include diagnostic criteria to identify sexual addictions in a clinical setting.
In the brain disease model of addiction, which uses neuropsychological concepts to characterize addictions, sexual addictions are identifiable and well-characterized.
Sexual activity is an intrinsic reward that has been shown to act as a positive reinforcer, strongly activate the reward system, and induce the accumulation of ΔFos B in part of the striatum (specifically, the nucleus accumbens).
No diagnostic proposal for sex addiction has been adopted into any official government diagnostic manual, however.
During the update of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to version 5 (DSM-5), the APA rejected two independent proposals for inclusion.
Chronic and excessive activation of certain pathways within the reward system and the accumulation of ΔFos B in a specific group of neurons within the nucleus accumbens has been directly implicated in the development of the compulsive behavior that characterizes addiction.
In humans, a dopamine dysregulation syndrome, characterized by drug-induced compulsive engagement in sexual activity or gambling, has also been observed in some individuals taking dopaminergic medications.
In November 2016, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), the official body for sex and relationship therapy in the United States, issued a position statement on Sex Addiction which states that AASECT "does not find sufficient empirical evidence to support the classification of sex addiction or porn addiction as a mental health disorder, and does not find the sexual addiction training and treatment methods and educational pedagogies to be adequately informed by accurate human sexuality knowledge.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating