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Spotlight on Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder

Spotlight on Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder: A Systematic Review of Research on WomenFull Article Name: Spotlight on Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder: A Systematic Review of Research on Women

Open Access: Yes


Purpose of Review: World Health Organization recently included compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) to the upcoming 11th edition of International Classification of Diseases (6C72). Despite the potential benefits of this decision (eg, the acceleration of research in the field will allow the development of effective treatments), previous research focused mainly on men, and as a result, we do not have an accurate clinical picture of compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) among women. Therefore, in this systematic review, we aim to present available knowledge on this topical subject. Literature search was conducted in the guideline of PRISMA methodology. Studies were identified from multiple databases including Academic Search Ultimate, SocINDEX, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, PubMed, and MEDLINE. Out of a total of 10,531 articles identified and screened, 58 were included in this review. Included studies covered the following topics: prevalence and etiology of CSB, behavioral and cognitive processes involved, comorbidities, personality traits, psychosocial and interpersonal difficulties, traumatic experiences, and treatments. Recent Findings: Available studies indicate that CSB symptom severity is lower in women than in men. Overall, women reported consuming pornography less often than men and exhibit lower rates of feeling urges to these materials. CSB symptoms (including problematic pornography use) have been found to be positively related to trait psychopathy, impulsivity, sensation seeking, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms, obsessive-compulsive disorder, pathological buying, sexual dysfunctions, general psychopathology, child sexual abuse, while negatively related to dispositional mindfulness. Summary: Conclusions that can be drawn from prior studies are considerably limited. There are no accurate estimates of the CSB prevalence or severity among women, and studies have been mostly conducted on non-clinical populations, which has limited application for women diagnosed with CSBD.



Kowalewska, E., Gola, M., Kraus, S. W., & Lew-Starowicz, M. (2020). Spotlight on compulsive sexual behavior disorder: A systematic review of research on women. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 16, 2025–2043.


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