Historically, women were perceived as sexually passive beings and in a socio-cultural context, excessive sexual behavior by women is supposed to be unacceptable, inappropriate, and pathological. Women who expressed the desire for sexual intimacy were labeled as nymphomanics. At this point, the researchers face the issue of subjectivity and difficulty in determining the normal from abnormal behavior and distinguishing between normal and abnormal sexual behavior. An objective definition of hypersexual disorder in females became important. Now, most diagnostic manuals agree that symptoms and merits for diagnoses for hypersexuality should be exactly the same for men and women.
What is Hypersexual Disorder?
Hypersexuality or compulsive sexual behavior is a sexual disorder or sexual addiction. Excessive preoccupation with sexual fantasies or behavior leads to hypersexuality. It is now common in females in the same way in males. When sexual behavior becomes the major focus in your life then it turns towards hypersexual behavior which is definitely not normal behavior and needs to be treated.
Theories That Explain Hypersexuality in Females
The possible theories that explain the etiology of hypersexuality are outlined below
1 Substance abuse
Uncontrolled sexual behavior is linked with excessive use of cocaine or amphetamine. These substances act to disturb an individual’s ability to allow sexual activity, increase sexual pleasure, and decrease the sensation of guilt that commonly ensues.
Some medications have been linked to the onset of unusual sexual behavior. Among these medications include androgen supplements, excessive use of cortisone and dopaminergic drugs are top listed to impair the normal physiologic functions.
3 Organic syndromes
Some trauma and metabolic conditions damage the part of the brain and lead to impaired sexual behavior and loss of control over it. For example an increase in masturbation in public when the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for regulation and verification of action becomes damaged because of a brain hemorrhage. The damage of the amygdala due to ceratin conditions results in fearless display and angerless placidity by the patient in addition to hypersexuality.
4 Clinical syndromes
According to data, people with mental disorders such as eating disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder show hyper-sexual behavior. This shows a clinical overlap between two disorders having depression and anxiety as a common sign. This may propose a challenge for clinicians either hypersexual behavior is actually linked with excessive sexual desire or it is a consequence of an underlying mental disorder.
5 Idiopathic factors
The hypersexual behaviors in absence of medical and psychopathological findings are attributed to idiopathic events. For example cases of Kluver-Buscy syndrome in absence of amygdala damage have been documented and recorded.
Symptoms of Hypersexual Disorder in Female
The sign and symptoms of hypersexuality remain similar in males and females. Individuals with hypersexual behavior may be struggling with the following indications
- He may have intense and recurrent sexual fantasies that feel out of his control
- He may be compelled to exhibit certain sexual behavior and later on feel remorse or guilt
- He may try to escape other problems like depression, anxiety, and stress by using compulsive sexual behavior
- He may face difficulty in maintaining stable and healthy relationships.
Reasons of Hypersexuality in Females
As suggested by new research, the major causes and reasons that turn females into hyper-sexual individuals are the high rate of masturbation and pornography use. Frequent engagement of females in sexual activities is another main reason driving them towards hyper-sexual behavior. Previously it was thought that hypersexual behavior is the outcome of having unusual sexual fantasies but new research denies the passive form of sexual behaviors.
Clinicians recommend a multifaceted approach for the treatment of hypersexuality because of its complexity. Different modes of therapy are employed and whatever the choice of treatment must depend on the specific need of patients.
The patient’s own consideration to control his hypersexual behavior is essential for the treatment. He must identify the situations, feelings, and thoughts that trigger sexual compulsions and steps should be taken to avoid and manage them. He must practice relaxation and learn stress management. If he is using sexual behavior to cope with negative emotions then he must adopt healthier ways to deal with anxiety, depression, and stress.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective for the treatment of paraphilias and drug-induced hyper-sexual behavior. Behavioral therapy helps to get control over hypersexual behavior by imaginal desensitization.
Psychotherapy is effective in the treatment of hypersexual behavioral pattern that resembles personality disorders with attention given to basic self-esteem, identity, and interpersonal disorders.
Certain classes of medications are used to treat hypersexual behavior by reducing obsessive thoughts or by reducing sexual desires. Such medications include
- Antidepressants: Used to treat depression and help with compulsive sexual behavior
- Naltrexone: it used to get rid of alcohol or opiate dependence and help with behavioral addictions or gambling disorders.
- Mood stabilizers: They are typically effective for bipolar disorders but help to reduce compulsive sexual urges.
- Anti-androgens: This class of medications helps to minimize the biological effects of sex hormones as it reduces sexual urges.
How does Hypersexuality in Females Differ From Hypersexuality in Males?
It is difficult to give any statement about how common hyper-sexual behavior is in women because of the following reasons
- Most researches and studies focus on men making it complicated to predict the occurrence of hypersexual behavior in women
- Another reason is the lack of knowledge about female hypersexuality due to cultural biases that forbid women to express their sexual desires publicly.
- It is much more permissible for men to engage in hypersexuality as opposed to men in many cases.
A new study found that behavioral patterns found in hyper-sexual women are similar to the behavior previously recognized in hypersexual men that is excessive masturbation, pornography dependence, and promiscuity.
Hypersexual behaviors are unusual and cause distress in an individual as well as for another. Mostly hypersexual behavioral patterns in females are unacceptable by society and that results in lack of knowledge as well as negligence. Hypersexual disorder in female and male patients can damage your health, relationship, career, and disrupted others so it must be controlled and managed with the help of appropriate treatment and self-help.