Evaluation of behavioral subtypes of sexual addiction: A latent profile analysis of sexual behaviors

Nicole Lea Blazek, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

Sexual addiction has been characterized as out of control sexual behavior that leads to decreased functioning and negative consequences in a number of areas (Kafka, 2010). The current study aimed to demonstrate whether or not homogenous classes of individuals presenting for treatment and diagnosed with sexual addiction could be identified utilizing a person-centered approach, Latent Profile Analysis, using sexual behavior frequency scales from the Sexual Dependency Inventory-4.0 (SDI-4.0; Green, Arnau, & Carnes, 2013) as indicators. After identifying the distinct subclasses of sexual behaviors, the study examined the nature of the groups through an analysis of external correlates of group membership. Specific external correlates that were examined included personality and psychopathology traits measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF; Ben-Porath & Tellegan, 2008). The current study identified five latent classes of men presenting for treatment of sexual addiction based upon their sexual behaviors using Latent Profile Analysis. These classes could be described as one that engaged in below average levels of sexually addictive behaviors, one that engaged in humiliation, domination and pain exchange behaviors, another that reported average levels of sexual addiction behaviors, a fourth that reported the use of drugs, exhibitionism and anonymous sexual behaviors and a final class of individuals who used money and power to support their sexual behaviors. Participants in the current study shared a number of presenting concerns including engaging in compulsive sexual behaviors, being distressed about their actions and experiencing consequences related to their addiction. These similarities suggested these individuals' presenting concerns may be best accounted for by shared phenomenon, such as a diagnosis of sexual addiction. However, the results of the current study also indicated that these classes differed in terms of personality traits, psychopathology, demographic variables and the types and number of consequences related to their sexually addictive behaviors. Therefore, careful assessment and treatment planning should be conducted in order to address these differences and to develop the most effective treatment interventions.