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Sexual Addiction and Compulsions

Conceptualizing excessive sexuality as a medical concern goes back to the late 1800s and early 1900s when it was considered a symptom of other medical conditions. However, these early descriptions were perhaps qualitatively different from the current notions of “sex addiction.” Sex addiction, as it is known today, can be traced back to the 1970s, with the emergence of self-help or support groups based on the 12-step programs popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and from publications in the 1980s, such as The Pleasure Addicts: The Addictive Process—Food, Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Work, and More by Lawrence Hatterer and Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes. More recently, advocates of the notion that sex addiction is a clinical reality attempted to have hypersexual disorder, ...

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