The Question of Sex Addiction

Tiger Woods during a news conference in, Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP)

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Sex addiction has been all over the headlines lately. Tiger Woods put it there this time. And before him, David Duchovny and Michael Douglas and Susan Cheever, and plenty more.

But what is sex addiction, and how is it different from just a lot of sex, or from plain old philandering? And is it for real? Or just a convenient tag that lets Hollywood cads pose as victims themselves?

Tiger’s millions helped turbo-charge his sex life, but what about ordinary people and compulsion? Where’s the line?

This hour, On Point: we’re bringing in the experts to assess sex addiction.


Kenneth Adams, clinical psychologist and certified sexual addiction therapist who has treated patients for over 25 years.  He’s clinical director for the Program for Sexual Health and Addiction, an outpatient program that treats sexual compulsion and addiction.  He’s co-editor, with Patrick Carnes, of “Clinical Management of Sex Addiction.”

Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she teaches one of the school’s most popular courses on the sociology of sexuality.   She’s author of dozens of papers and academic papers on sexuality, and a consultant to the Lluminari Women’s Health Network.

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