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Does Sex Addiction Have Any Basis in Science?

The evidence is not compelling, and science has often been hijacked to legitimize social control.

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Whether this reflects an underlying difference in the way the brain works is still hotly debated between scientists working in the field of addiction, and no clear consensus has been reached yet. The same goes for the origin of these differences, in case they happen to exist at all. Are they genetic? Do they reflect exposure to a particular environment during early life? And if so, which kinds of stimuli are likely to lead to the development of a personality prone to become addicted, and when do they have their effect? Given that the actual number of research groups around the world that are currently looking to find answers to these questions is enormous, we may expect to have a much clearer picture of addiction as a biological phenomenon a few decades, or even a few years, down the road. In the meantime, it is important to bear in mind that scientific explanations are often used to legitimize arguments from those who have social control as their hidden agenda.


Cristian Bodo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Virginia, he studied the role of gonadal steroids in the sexual differentiation of reproductive behavior. He is currently conducting postdoctoral research at King's College London, in the field of learning and memory.