The Myth of Sex Addiction

David J. Ley, Author
David J. Ley. Rowman & Littlefield, $35 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4422-1304-3
Paperback - 259 pages - 978-1-4422-1305-0
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4422-1306-7
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-280-65977-5
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Sex addiction and its attendant diagnosed celebrities and reality TV shows may have been wholeheartedly embraced by the media, but this work of pop psychology takes issue with what clinical psychologist Ley (Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them) deems a dubious disorder. Here, Ley asks whether sexual addiction is really a bona fide ailment or merely a "culturally bound concept reflecting changing social views of sexuality rather than medicine or scientific research." Ley suggests that the label of "addiction" removes the issue of morality from the conversation, whereas in fact—whether we like it or not—he asserts that "sexual behaviors involve choice." However, Ley acknowledges the appeal of calling it an addiction, quoting an anonymous ex-spouse of a so-called sex addict, who affirmed that it would've been easier to cope with her husband's serial infidelity had it been the product of impulses literally beyond his control. Ley makes a thoughtful and persuasive argument, using case studies and ample references to the work of other psychologists to flesh out his case. While serving as an excellent resource on sex addiction, Ley's study also sheds light on the myriad cultural and sociological factors that influence relationships. (Mar.)
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