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Sex Addiction Statistics

Over the years, the stigma around sex addiction and sexual disorders has improved, although there is still much work to be done. Further research is necessary to gain more insight into how sex addiction affects specific demographics and co-occurring disorders. Understanding data such as the symptoms of sex addiction and their impact on different types of people is crucial to developing effective treatments and preventive strategies for sex addicts.

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How Common Is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction typically causes the person with an addiction to experience out-of-control masturbation, sexual thoughts, sexual impulses, and seek out sexual acts, regardless of risks like sexually transmitted diseases or legal trouble.

The cause can vary, depending on past sexual abuse, brain chemistry, and history of addiction.

There is debate about sex addiction, as it does not have official criteria for diagnosis in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition). However, many Americans are diagnosed and treated for the condition every day.

There is a lack of large national studies on the prevalence of sex addiction, but smaller studies indicate that between 3% and 6% of the general adult population of the United States of America suffers from sex addiction.

Sex Addiction Statistics by Gender

When it comes to sex addiction by gender, more research is done on males exhibiting compulsive sexual behavior than women. Therefore, the current data is skewed more towards men than women.

According to research from the University of Minnesota, 10.3% of American men and 7.0% of American women experience distress and/or impairment from difficulty controlling their sexual feelings, urges, and behavior.

A study from Anglia Ruskin University found that male sex addict participants tended to engage in voyeurism and anonymous sex. Female sex addicts, on the other hand, preferred exhibitionism, trading for sex, pain exchange sex, and fantasy sex.

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Sex Addiction Statistics by Race

Unfortunately, there is no broad or definitive data on sex addiction by race. In fact, most research on sex addiction to date seems to focus more on white sex addicts than any other race.

A 2012 study from UCLA found that in a representative sample of people in sex addiction treatment, 92% were white. Such studies raise real issues with current sex addiction research and why white people are disproportionately represented in sex addiction treatment.

Many researchers aim to conduct studies with more diverse participants, hoping we can better understand the relationship between race and sex addiction.

Sex Addiction Statistics by Age Group

Anyone of any age can develop sex addiction, given the right circumstances and risk factors. However, research has revealed patterns of when many individuals develop signs of sex addiction or compulsive sexual behavior.

While in-depth data by age does not exist, some studies have shed light on the relationship between age and sex addiction.

Signs of sex addiction can start quite early in life or quite late, affecting adolescents and older adults alike.

According to research from UCLA, 54% of sex addiction patients begin experiencing sexual fantasies, sexual urges, and sexual behaviors before age 18. Sadly, most addicts don’t seek professional help until age 37.

Sex Addiction Statistics by Comorbidity

Sex addiction has high rates of comorbidity with mental health disorders and other addictions. For example, porn addiction is one of the most common co-occurring addictions found among sex addiction or hypersexual disorder.

Mental disorders commonly found to co-occur with sex addiction include:

Research from Anglia Ruskin University found the following disorders or types of addiction often found co-occurring with sex addiction:

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Sex Addiction Recovery Statistics

For behavioral addictions like sex addiction, treatment options often include therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and support groups or 12-step programs like Sex Addicts Anonymous.

The success of these treatments depends on many factors, such as willingness to address compulsive behaviors, co-occurring disorders or substance abuse issues, and support from loved ones.

Research published in the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity studied 88 married couples over seven years where one partner had a sex addiction. The study revealed the following statistics for sex addiction treatment and recovery:

  • 9% of sex addicts had been through an inpatient program for compulsive sexual activity
  • 79% of married people reported they were attending meetings for sex addicts
  • 91% of sex addicts and their partners had seen or were seeing a professional counselor or therapist
  • The average time in recovery from sex addiction was 3.4 years, ranging from two months to 14 years
    • 38% had less than 2 years in recovery,
    • 28% had at least 2 but less than 5 years in recovery, and
    • 34% had at least 5 years of recovery.

Getting Help for Sex Addiction

Shame and guilt often prevent sex addicts from getting the treatment they need and deserve. If you or a loved one have a sex addiction and are ready to receive treatment, many options are available.

You can start by talking to your doctor about your situation and determining the treatment option for you. You can also try using SAMHSA’s online treatment locator or 1-877-726-4727 (HELP) to learn what treatment centers are in your area.

Learn more about therapy and treatment options now.

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FAQs About Sex Addiction Statistics

What is the rate of sex addiction?

While research is somewhat limited, most studies seem to estimate between 3% and 6% of the general adult population of the United States of America suffers from sex addiction.

Do most sex addicts recover?

Recovery depends on several factors, such as willingness to change addictive behaviors, support from loved ones, and co-occurring disorders or addictions.

If a sex addict fully commits to recovery and applies skills learned in therapy, they can recover from sex addiction and improve their overall well-being.

What percentage of sex addicts relapse?

Research on the relapse rate of sex addicts is sparse. However, according to research from Arizona Community Physicians, 64% of sex addicts with at least 5 years in recovery reported having had a significant slip or relapse, in many cases well after the first year or two.

What are the most common co-occurring disorders with sex addiction?

The most common co-occurring disorders with sex addiction include:

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
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Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Written by: is your trusted educational guide to addiction and recovery, founded by recovering addicts and board-certified addiction specialists. Whether you are struggling with addiction or concerned about a loved one’s substance abuse, our mission is to lead you to a healthier, happier life.

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  2. Baskerville, T. A., & Douglas, A. J. (2018). Interactions Between Dopamine and Oxytocin in the Control of Sexual Behaviour. Progress in Brain Research.
  3. Black, D. W., Kehrberg, L. L., Flumerfelt, D. L., & Schlosser, S. S. (1997, February). Characteristics of 36 Subjects Reporting Compulsive Sexual Behavior. The American Journal of Psychiatry.
  4. Derbyshire, K. L., Grant, J. E., & Weinstein, A. (2015, June). Compulsive Sexual Behavior: A Review of the Literature. Journal of Behavioral Addictions.
  5. Dickenson, J. A., Gleason, N., & Coleman, E. (2018, November 9). Prevalence of Distress Associated With Difficulty Controlling Sexual Urges, Feelings, and Behaviors in the United States. Jama Network.
  6. Fong, T. W. (2006, November). Understanding and Managing Compulsive Sexual Behaviors. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)).
  7. Kraus, S. W., Krueger, R. B., Briken, P., & First, M. B. (2018, January 19). Compulsive Sexual Behaviour Disorder in the ICD-11. Wiley Online Library.
  8. Reid, R. C., Carpenter, B. N., Hook, J. N., Garos, S., Manning, J. C., Gilliland, R., & Cooper, E. B. (2012, November). Report of Findings in a DSM-5 Field Trial for Hypersexual Disorder. The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
  9. Schneider, J. P., & Schneider, B. H. (1996). Couple Recovery From Sexual Addiction/Co-Addiction: Results of a Survey of 88 Marriages. Oxbow Academy.
  10. Schneider, J. P., Corley, M. D., & Irons, R. K. (1998, July). Surviving Disclosure of Infidelity: Results of an International Survey of 164 Recovering Sex Addicts and Partners. ResearchGate.

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