Building on the conclusions of the debate papers by Gola et al. (2022) and Sassover and Weinstein (2022), the present commentary further addressed the contradictions between the current classification, nomenclature, and diagnostic criteria of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) with elaborating on the potential roles impulsivity and compulsivity may play in CSBD, and how these characteristics may relate to addictive behaviors in particular. Moreover, it briefly discussed how the classification of CSBD might impact research and clinical practice and proposed potential future research directions that may help to reach a consensus on the classification and core symptoms of CSBD.
Limitations of research into sexuality and compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) include the use of simplistic methodological designs and the absence of quality and unified measurements, empirically supported theoretical models, and large, collaborative studies between laboratories. We aim to fill these gaps with the International Sex Survey (ISS, http://internationalsexsurvey.org/).
The ISS is a large-scale, international, multi-lab, multi-language study using cross-sectional survey methods, involving more than 40 countries. Participants responding to advertisements complete a self-report, anonymous survey on a secure online platform. Collaborators from each country collect a community sample of adults with a minimum sample size of 2,000 participants with a gender ratio of approximately 50–50% men and women, including diverse individuals with respect to sexuality and gender. The ISS includes a wide range of sociodemographic questions and scales assessing a diverse set of sexual behaviors, pornography use, psychological characteristics, and potential comorbid disorders. Analyses are conducted within a structural equation modeling framework, including variable (e.g., measurement invariance tests) and person-centered approaches (e.g., latent profile analysis).
Discussion and conclusions
The ISS will provide well-validated, publicly available screening tools, helping to eliminate significant measurement issues in the field of sexuality research and health care. It will provide important insights to improve the theoretical understanding of CSBD as well as help to identify empirically supported treatment targets for prevention and intervention programs. Following open-science practices and making study materials open-access, the ISS may serve as a blueprint for future large-scale research in addiction and sexuality research.