Narcissism in the Sexually Addicted Population

After the sharing portion of the meeting, a member of the group asks Mason if he has considered individual psychotherapy. He has not. “Nothing is wrong with me,” he says, “besides the fact that I have this one bad habit.” But Mason’s habit is a genuine problem for many, and his nonchalance and grandiosity comprise a defense mechanism used by many who share it.

Link Between Narcissism and Sex Addiction

A large number of sex and pornography addicts display narcissistic traits. This can make treatment difficult, perhaps especially because narcissists are disinclined to acknowledge their problem. They express self-absorption, in their sex lives and elsewhere, often making the clinical process difficult. In June 2014, the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy published a study that examined the occurrence and degree of narcissism in male and female subjects with sex addiction. The authors of the study—Thomas Edward Kasper, Mary Beth Short, and Alex Clinton Milam—used three metrics for narcissistic traits: the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI) and the Index of Sexual Narcissism (ISN).

The study revealed that those subjects, male and female, who had viewed Internet porn at any time in the past scored higher on measures of narcissism. And those subjects who currently viewed Internet porn (on a regular basis) scored highest of all, particularly on the NPI and the ISN. The PNI measurement was also higher but did not reach a benchmark for statistical difference.

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