Approximately a year after the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists’ (AASECT) position statement on sex addiction was published, three more professional organizations have joined the discussion regarding this topic. This is interesting timing, given the recent high-profile cases in the media. Center for Positive Sexuality (CPS), National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), and The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance (TASHRA) recently published a group position statement opposing the addiction model in relation to frequent sexual behavior and pornography viewing. These organizations cite AASECT’s statement as one of the reasons for their joint statement, as well as citing many scientific studies that reject the addiction model in relation to these sexual behaviors. The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize sex or porn addiction as a diagnosis, and these organizations have followed up with their own statements on the issue.
There are many factors that could lead someone to engage in various sexual practices and or pornography viewing, and current assessments for the concepts of sex and porn addiction lack scientific rigor and validity. Furthermore, important cultural factors are not considered within a sex/porn addiction model.
This position statement also reports that the addiction model assumes that using sex or pornography as a coping mechanism is necessarily problematic, and maybe this is due to an overly conservative or religious view of sexuality, rather than a recognition that this may actually be maladaptive. In fact, as pointed out, studies show that diverse sexuality may actually be considered a positive means of coping.
To read the complete position statement, please go to the Journal of Positive Sexuality (journalofpositivesexuality.org).
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