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Thoughts on Anthony Weiner’s “Sex Addiction”

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 14:47
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[David Ley, author of "The Myth of Sex Addiction," says] that that “sex addiction” isn’t well-defined, is quite scientifically controversial, and in recent decades has been increasingly used to explain a broad range of bad behavior on the part of (mostly) men. But in a sense, this robs men of their agency, of the possibility that they can control their compulsions and puts them in a broader, more meaningful psychological context. “Sex addiction,” in this view, is a lazy and easy way out.

To Ley, all this same logic applies to Weiner’s escapades. To him, pushing behavior like Weiner’s under the umbrella of something called “sex addiction” obscures more than it reveals. It strips away a huge amount of the psychological complexity that drives self-destructive human behavior. “Calling Anthony Weiner a sex addict is a distraction from the important issues of personal responsibility and mindful choice,” Ley said in an email. “It’s also a sad form of slut-shaming.”

Moreover, Ann Althouse writes,

Quite apart from the laziness of calling it “sex addiction,” there’s the cheap convenience of packing someone up into an institution — the theater of saying we’re doing something about this combined with the practical solution of bundling him away where he’s incommunicado.

Read more here.


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