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Sexual addiction is a little understood psychological phenomenon, which makes it difficult to accurately define the number of cases. Some sources estimate 3-6% of the American population suffers from some form of sexual compulsion. The DSM-V does not list sexual addiction as a recognized disorder; instead it is treated as a sexual disorder not otherwise specified.

A lack of comprehensive diagnostic criteria is one problem.

It should also be noted that the DSM at one time recognized homosexuality as a psychological disorder. The notion of sexual addiction itself is complicated by the fact that cultural stereotypes and norms have normative influence over sexual preference and behavior. An individual who prefers multiple relationships and partners, for example, may find herself pressured to accept a sexual norm of monogamy or else label herself deviant.

Of course, there is cause for concern when a person exhibits the kind of behavior described by the DSM as "distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by the individual only as things to be used." But it is unclear what constitutes a pathological sexual condition.

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