Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) is characterized by a persistent failure to control intense and recurrent sexual impulses, urges, and/or thoughts, resulting in repetitive sexual behavior that causes a marked impairment in important areas of functioning. Despite its recent inclusion in the forthcoming ICD-11, concerns regarding its assessment, diagnosis, prevalence or clinical characteristics remain. The purpose of this study was to identify participants displaying CSBD through a novel data-driven approach in two independent samples and outline their sociodemographic, sexual, and clinical profile.
Sample 1 included 1,581 university students (females = 56.9%; Mage = 20.58) whereas sample 2 comprised 1,318 community members (females = 43.6%; Mage = 32.37). First, we developed a new composite index to assess the whole range of CSBD symptoms based on three previously validated scales. Based on this new composite index, we subsequently identified individuals with CSBD through a cluster analytic approach.
The estimated occurrence of CSBD was 10.12% in sample 1 and 7.81% in sample 2. Participants with CSBD were mostly heterosexual males, younger than respondents without CSBD, reported higher levels of sexual sensation seeking and erotophilia, an increased offline and especially online sexual activity, more depressive and anxious symptoms, and poorer self-esteem.
This research provides further evidence on the occurrence of CSBD based on an alternative data-driven approach, as well as a detailed and nuanced description of the sociodemographic, sexual, and clinical profile of adults with this condition. Clinical implications derived from these findings are discussed in detail.
Despite its inclusion in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, there is a virtual paucity of high-quality scientific evidence about compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD), especially in underrepresented and underserved populations. Therefore, we comprehensively examined CSBD across 42 countries, genders, and sexual orientations, and validated the original (CSBD-19) and short (CSBD-7) versions of the Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder Scale to provide standardized, state-of-the-art screening tools for research and clinical practice.
Using data from the International Sex Survey (N = 82,243; Mage= 32.39 years, SD = 12.52), we evaluated the psychometric properties of the CSBD-19 and CSBD-7 and compared CSBD across 42 countries, three genders, eight sexual orientations, and individuals with low vs. high risk of experiencing CSBD.
A total of 4.8% of the participants were at high risk of experiencing CSBD. Country- and gender-based differences were observed, while no sexual-orientation-based differences were present in CSBD levels. Only 14% of individuals with CSBD have ever sought treatment for this disorder, with an additional 33% not having sought treatment because of various reasons. Both versions of the scale demonstrated excellent validity and reliability.
Discussion and conclusions
This study contributes to a better understanding of CSBD in underrepresented and underserved populations and facilitates its identification in diverse populations by providing freely accessible ICD-11-based screening tools in 26 languages. The findings may also serve as a crucial building block to stimulate research into evidence-based, culturally sensitive prevention and intervention strategies for CSBD that are currently missing from the literature.