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Is Sex Addiction Just a (Convenient) Myth?

Here we go again: Just as the question was raised during the latter phase of the Bill Clinton era, Tiger Woods’ recently revealed indiscretions have prompted questions of whether there is such a thing as “sex addiction,” or whether it’s just code for “boys will be boys” … until those boys get busted, that is. –KA

Chicago Tribune:

“In the field of psychiatry, there’s not a clear agreement about whether or not it’s even a diagnosis,” said Ginger Manley, a nursing professor and certified sex therapist at Vanderbilt University.

To many Americans, sex addiction is often a punch line. “People say, ‘If I have an addiction, I want to have that one,'” Manley said. But Manley and other sex therapists say most clients don’t get treatment until their sexual behavior has ruined their lives – wrecking their marriages, causing them to spend thousands of dollars on pornography or prostitutes, or even getting arrested for soliciting prostitutes.

But for someone like Tiger Woods, is this an addiction – or merely a way of life for rich, powerful men?

“I am cautious and a little leery of the term sex addiction,” said Dr. Alan Grieco, an Orlando, Fla., psychologist who noted that the American psychiatric community considered homosexuality a mental disorder 60 years ago. “In my opinion, monogamy does not come naturally to most men. We can do it, but it’s a struggle. … If an attractive woman throws herself at a guy and he thinks he can get away with it, he will – married or not – have sex.”

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