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Anthony Weiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger: Sex Disorder or Just Bad Behavior

The Anthony Wiener and Arnold Schwarzenegger sex scandals have had everyone in the media buzzing lately. After all, this is the stuff gossip columns and the evening news live for. It’s interesting how some professionals and news broadcasters have tried to raise the possibility that these sexual indiscretions are the results of an addiction or psychological problem.  Perhaps there’s something to that, but the very idea is causing a big stir in its own right.  Sexual addiction?  How about simple horniness and lack of control?  That seems to be the question on a lot of people’s minds.

Wherever the truth may lie, it appears there is a new term for infidelity and out of control sex. It’s called hypersexual disorder. While hypersexual disorder may soon be on the books as a bona fide psychological disorder, many people still view it as just an excuse for bad behavior.

What exactly is hypersexual disorder?

Just this year in 2010, the American Psychiatric Association released preliminary criteria to help define sex addiction or hypersexual disorder. It can only be diagnosed in adults older than 18 years. Here are the symptoms that can be viewed at the American Psychiatric Association’s website:

Hypersexual Disorder
A. Over a period of at least six months, recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behavior in association with four or more of the following five criteria:
  1. Excessive time is consumed by sexual fantasies and urges, and by planning for and engaging in sexual behavior.
  2. Repetitively engaging in these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior in response to dysphoric mood states (e.g., anxiety, depression, boredom, irritability).
  3. Repetitively engaging in sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior in response to stressful life events.
  4. Repetitive but unsuccessful efforts to control or significantly reduce these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior.
  5. Repetitively engaging in sexual behavior while disregarding the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others.
B. There is clinically significant personal distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning associated with the frequency and intensity of these sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior.

C. These sexual fantasies, urges, and behavior are not due to direct physiological effects of exogenous substances (e.g., drugs of abuse or medications) or to Manic Episodes.

D.  The person is at least 18 years of age.

Sex addiction and the rich and powerful.

David Duchovny, Eric Benet, Michael Douglas, Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, and Russell Brand paved the way for recognizable celebrities that have either been diagnosed with a sex addiction or have been rumored to have one.  Psychiatrist Dr. Drew Pinsky has a popular TV show called Celebrity Rehab just for guys like these battling addiction, whether it be drugs, alcohol, or now, sex.

It seems that actors, male politicians, and any other newsworthy males often get the “get out of jail” card if they can only be diagnosed as having a sex addiction. That way celebrity endorsements can continue, Hollywood can make more money, the country can turn a blind eye to political affairs, and life can go on. 

Fortunately for these guys, the American Psychiatric Association had included hypersexual disorder in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So, when the new manual is published in May of 2013, men who have been responsible for some pretty inexcusable behavior will get off the hook. This is particularly true for men who have celebrity, wealth, power and influence, as it seems they are more prone to the disorder than the rest of the men out there. Interesting, since about 95% of the male population is involved with sexual fantasies most of the time, whether they act on it or not. 

If you think labeling rampant sex as a disorder is bizarre you’re not alone.  But it looks like the writing is on the wall. All the Wieners and Schwarzeneggers out there will have a crutch to lean on when they try to explain their actions. They won’t have to take any responsibility because their disorder will eradicate it.

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