Adolescent hypersexuality: Is it a distinct disorder? (2016)

Y. Efrati,

M. Mikulincer

European Psychiatry >2016>33>Supplement>S735


Adolescent hypersexuality, and its position within personality dispositions, is the subject of this presentation. The personality dispositions examined were attachment style, temperament, gender, religiosity, and psychopathology. To do so, 311 high school adolescents (184 boys, 127 girls) between the ages 16–18 (M=16.94, SD=.65), enrolled in the eleventh (n=135, 43.4%) and twelfth (n=176, 56.6%) grades, most of whom (95.8%) were native Israelis. By religiosity, 22.2% defined themselves as secular, 77.8% reported various degrees of religiosity. Five possible empirical models were examined, all based on current theory and research on hypersexuality. The fourth model was found to be compatible with the data, indicating that psychopathology and hypersexuality are independent disorders and are not related by a mediating process.

In addition, religiosity and gender are predictors, but the relationship between temperament and attachment is independent of them – the process is identical in religious and non-religious adolescents, both boy and girl. Additionally, the hormone oxytocin may be related to hypersexuality, with implications that could affect the therapeutic meaning of understanding the location of adolescent hypersexuality as a disorder in and of itself.