The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and correlates of indicators consistent with Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD)—defined and operationalized according to the ICD-11 guidelines—in a large (n = 4,633; 50.5% male; 49,5% female) probability-based German national sample.
Participants were asked if they had ever experienced “intense and recurring sexual impulses or sexual urges that I had difficulty controlling and resulted in sexual behavior” over a period of several months. Those who reported this experience were queried about the associated distress.
Overall, 4.9% of men [95% CI = 3.9–6.1] and 3.0% of women [95% CI = 2.3–3.9] reported experiences consistent with ICD-11 diagnostic requirements for lifetime diagnosis. In the 12 months preceding the study, 3.2% of men [95% CI = 2.4–4.2] and 1.8% of women [95% CI = 1.2–2.5] reported experiences consistent with CSBD requirements. Compared to controls and participants who reported elements of compulsive sexuality but without accompanying distress, strict religious upbringing was most prevalent in the CSBD group. The CSBD group was more likely to view sexual practices like men having sex with men as unacceptable and to report the belief that pornography has negative impacts on their sex life and life in general. Compared to the other two groups, the CSBD group was significantly more likely to have received psychiatric treatment for depression or another mental health problem during the past 12 months.
Discussion and conclusions
The current study provides novel and important insights into the prevalence and characteristics of CSBD in the general population.
Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) is included in the eleventh edition of The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an impulse-control disorder.
The aim of the present work was to develop a scale (Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder Scale–CSBD-19) that can reliably and validly assess CSBD based on ICD-11 diagnostic guidelines.
Four independent samples of 9,325 individuals completed self-reported measures from three countries (the United States, Hungary, and Germany). The psychometric properties of the CSBD-19 were examined in terms of factor structure, reliability, measurement invariance, and theoretically relevant correlates. A potential threshold was determined to identify individuals with an elevated risk of CSBD.
The five-factor model of the CSBD-19 (i.e., control, salience, relapse, dissatisfaction, and negative consequences) had an excellent fit to the data and demonstrated appropriate associations with the correlates. Measurement invariance suggested that the CSBD-19 functions similarly across languages. Men had higher means than women. A score of 50 points was found as an optimal threshold to identify individuals at high-risk of CSBD.
The CSBD-19 is a short, valid, and reliable measure of potential CSBD based on ICD-11 diagnostic guidelines. Its use in large-scale, cross-cultural studies may promote the identification and understanding of individuals with a high risk of CSBD.