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Sex addiction : a critical history

Reay, Barry.
Sex addiction : a critical history / Barry Reay, Nina Attwood and Claire Gooder.
Cambridge ; Malden, MA : Polity, 2015.
222 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
<The Edward Potts Cheyney Memorial Fund Home Page>
Other contributors
Attwood, Nina. Gooder, Claire.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Introduction
  • Beginnings
  • Addictionology 101
  • Cultural impact
  • Sexual stories
  • Diangostic disorder
  • Sexual conservatism
  • Conclusion.
The concept of sex addiction took hold in the 1980s as a product of late twentieth-century cultural anxieties. Though essentially mythical, creating a problem that need not exist, sex addiction has to be taken seriously as a phenomenon. Rarely has a socio-psychological discourse had such impact on the public imagination and proven an influential concept in academic circles, too. Its success as a purported malady lay with its medicalization, both as a self-help movement in terms of self-diagnosis, and as a rapidly growing industry of therapists treating the new disease. The media played a role in its history, first with TV, the tabloids, and the case histories of claimed celebrity victims all helping to popularize the concept, and then with the impact of the Internet. This book is a critical history of an archetypically modern sexual syndrome, an examination of the power of an idea and its social context. Reay, Attwood, and Gooder argue that this strange history of social opportunism, diagnostic amorphism, therapeutic self-interest, and popular cultural endorsement is marked by an essential social conservatism: sex addiction has become a convenient term to describe disapproved sex. It is a label without explanatory force. This book will be essential reading for those interested in sexuality studies, contemporary history, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, media studies, and studies of the Internet.
Subject headings
Sex addiction. Sex addiction--History.
Kinsey subjects
Hypersexuality. Sex behavior.
9780745670355 (hardback ; alk. paper) 0745670350 (hardback ; alk. paper) 9780745670362 (paperback. ; alk. paper) 0745670369 (paperback. ; alk. paper)


Blmgtn - Kinsey Institute Library (by appointment only)
Call Number
528.4 R31 s3 2015
Auxiliary Library Facility - Kinsey Institute