Many men struggle with sex addictions. But in the United States today, a growing number of women also are falling prey to pornography and perversion.
Marsha is a 32-year-old woman who appears to have a perfect life. She is the attractive, healthy wife of a successful doctor in town and the mother of a terrific little boy. She began our first counseling session by saying, “I have everything going for me, but I have a problem I am so ashamed of that I can hardly tell you.”
Through tears she told me her story, which included numerous rotating affairs and one-night stands with men. “I know it’s wrong, and I’ve tried to stop,” she cried. “I’ve repented many times, but I still do it over and over again.”
Some of us would classify Marsha as simply an “adulteress” while others would pass off her problem as “just sin.” But is it possible that Marsha struggles with sexual addiction? We’re quick to assume that sexual addicts are always men, but recent studies indicate that in the last decade more and more women, including Christians, are struggling with sexual addiction.
What is sexual addiction? It is using a sexual activity as a way of coping with or “medicating” the emotional pain of one’s past or present. This behavior becomes compulsive, oftentimes at the expense of loved ones or responsibilities. The sex addict, whether male or female, goes into a sexual fantasy or sexual behavior in order to find solace in his or her life.
Why would a woman need to escape? Many sex addicts—44 percent—are survivors of sexual abuse. Sixty-five percent say they were raped, and 53 percent say they were raped more than once. For 96 percent, their first sexual encounter had a direct impact on their sexual addictive behavior. Other statistics include the 79 percent who say they have had extramarital affairs.
The list continues: 48 percent have contracted a venereal disease; 59 percent have had an abortion; 52 percent have eating disorders; and 50 percent have alcohol problems.
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SOURCE: Charisma News