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Title: Sexual Arousal and Sexual Activity Frequency: Implications for Understanding Hypersexuality
Contributor(s): Walton, Michael T (author); Lykins, Amy  (author)orcid ; Bhullar, Navjot  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2016
DOI: 10.1007/s10508-016-0727-1
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Abstract: Some research indicates that sexual arousal, rather than scores on existing hypersexuality measures, may better explain higher levels of sexual activity (Steele, Staley, Fong, & Prause, 2013; Winters, Christoff, & Gorzalka, 2010). Specifically, sexual arousal may be a better a predictor of hypersexuality because self-report measures of hypersexual behavior typically rely upon an individual's self-perception that their sexual behavior is out-of-control, rather than these measures also assessing an individual's frequency of sexual activity to independently confirm the veracity of their perceptions. In addition, Ariely and Loewenstein (2006) suggest that, for some individuals, high states of sexual arousal may impair their decision-making to engage in sexual behavior that they may otherwise avoid when their sexual arousal is low, and also to engage in sexual behavior inconsistent with personal beliefs and values. However, to date, the evidence is mixed regarding whether hypersexual behavior is simply a marker of high sexual arousal or if hypersexual behavior and sexual arousal are two distinct and independent constructs (Carvalho, Stulhofer, Vieira, & Jurin, 2015; Mechelmans et al., 2014; Voon et al., 2014). Furthermore, there is ongoing debate about what constitutes excessive or problematic sexual functioning (Rinehart & McCabe, 1997). Indeed, research has struggled to define or agree upon clinical cut-off points which reliably discriminate between hypersexual and non-hypersexual behavior (Kafka, 1997, 2010; Kafka & Hennen, 2003; Orford, 1978; Winters, 2010). When we consulted the online Oxford dictionary to review the meaning of 'hyper', the prefix was defined as meaning excessive, as well as meaning above and beyond normal (Oxford University Press, 2015). Therefore, hypersexuality by common definition or as stated in A.1 of the proposed DSM-5 diagnostic criteria of Hypersexual Disorder (Kafka, 2010) presupposes that hypersexual persons exhibit significantly higher levels of sexual activity frequency compared to persons who do not identify as hypersexual. However,there exists little information in the literature about the sexual activity frequency of hypersexual persons, particularly in comparison with non-hypersexual persons.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45(4), p. 777-782
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1573-2800
Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Field of Research (FoR) 2020: 520304 Health psychology
520302 Clinical psychology
520303 Counselling psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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