In November 2016, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), the official body for sex and relationship therapy in the United States, issued a position statement on Sex Addiction which states that AASECT "does not find sufficient empirical evidence to support the classification of sex addiction or porn addiction as a mental health disorder, and does not find the sexual addiction training and treatment methods and educational pedagogies to be adequately informed by accurate human sexuality knowledge.Therefore, it is the position of AASECT that linking problems related to sexual urges, thoughts or behaviors to a porn/sexual addiction process cannot be advanced by AASECT as a standard of practice for sexuality education delivery, counseling or therapy." As of 2017, none of the official regulatory bodies for Psychosexual Counselling or Sex and Relationship therapy, have accepted sex addiction as a distinct entity with associated treatment protocols.Finally, they may be useful for patients who are reluctant to spend money on professional treatment.
ΔFos B is the most significant gene transcription factor involved in addiction, since its viral or genetic overexpression in the nucleus accumbens is necessary and sufficient for most of the neural adaptations and plasticity that occur; Research on the interaction between natural and drug rewards suggests that psychostimulants and sexual reward possess cross-sensitization effects and act on common biomolecular mechanisms of addiction-related neuroplasticity which are mediated through ΔFos B.
None of the official diagnostic classification frameworks list "sexual addiction" as a distinct disorder.
Some argue that applying such concepts to normal behaviors such as sex, can be problematic, and suggest that applying medical models such as addiction to human sexuality can serve to pathologise normal behavior and cause harm Neuroscientists, pharmacologists, molecular biologists, and other researchers in related fields have identified the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of addiction pathophysiology.
Diagnostic models, which use the pharmacological model of addiction (this model associates addiction with drug-related concepts, particularly physical dependence, drug withdrawal, and drug tolerance), do not currently include diagnostic criteria to identify sexual addictions in a clinical setting.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common form of behavioral treatment for addictions and maladaptive behaviors in general.
Dialectical behavior therapy has been shown to improve treatment outcomes as well.
However, the ICD categorises these diagnoses as compulsive behaviors or impulse control disorders and not addiction.
The Chinese Society of Psychiatry produces the Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders (CCMD), which is currently in its third edition – the CCMD-3 does not include sexual addiction as a diagnosis.
The World Health Organization produces the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is not limited to mental disorders.
The most recent version of that document, ICD-10, includes "excessive sexual drive" as a diagnosis (code F52.8), subdividing it into satyriasis (for males) and nymphomania (for females).
There is considerable debate amongst psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists, and other specialists over the whether compulsive sexual behavior constitutes an addiction, and therefore its classification and possible diagnosis.