Skip to main content

Mental Health

Assessment Instruments and Basic Personality Underpinnings of Hypersexuality

Assessment Instruments and Basic Personality Underpinnings of HypersexualityFull Article Name: Assessment Instruments and Basic Personality Underpinnings of Hypersexuality

Open Access: Yes


Despite rejection of the Hypersexual Disorder (HD) diagnosis from DSM-5, individuals continue to present clinically with feelings of out-of-control sexual behaviour, clinicians continue to treat “sexual addiction,” and researchers continue to study HD-type symptomology. To further investigation of the HD construct, Levaque and colleagues (2016) used common HD assessment measures and found that between 16.7% and 37.8% of young adult males met clinically significant scores for HD. Phase one of this dissertation replicated the surprising finding in a North American community sample and furthered the research by testing the assessment tool used in DSM-5 HD field trials, and the first sex addiction screening tool. Study One findings were largely as expected, with as many as 27.6% of the youngest males flagged as problematically hypersexual by commonly used HD scales. Study Two queried whether HD scale cut scores predicted age-relevant negative life outcomes in younger adults (i.e., risky sexual behaviour, sexually transmitted infections [STIs], pregnancy), or in middle and older adults (i.e., long-term relationship distress/instability, contraceptive/STI risk, employment or legal sanctions for sex-related acts). Predicted negative outcomes were based on an expanded novel model synthesizing existing HD research (Montgomery-Graham, 2016). While the scales themselves seem to unexpectedly over-select too many of the youngest males between ages 18 to 24, and the oldest males ages 36 to 45 as HD, the scales are indeed related to the negative life outcomes associated with out-of-control sexual behavior as reflected in the literature, and demonstrate strong criterion validity. Finally, Study Three assessed whether conceptually relevant personality variables are conceptually and statistically superior predictors of clinically significant outcomes associated with hypersexuality in adult males than the current HD scales. Variables investigated included: sex drive, erotophilia, emotional regulation, sexual excitation, sexual inhibition, and religiosity. Together these variables did not account for much of the variance in negative HD behavioural outcomes when competitively tested against existing HD scales. Emotional dysregulation and sociosexuality remained important yet distinct constructs from HD. Study Three findings suggest that the various theoretically and empirically relevant variables do not better account for negative behavioural outcomes associated with hypersexuality than the current HD scales.



Montgomery-Graham, S. L.. (2020). Assessment instruments and basic personality underpinnings of hypersexuality. Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 7216.