Possible Causes of Teen Sex Addiction

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - Possible Causes of Teen Sex Addiction

With our Wilderness Therapy program, we have helped many teens who struggle with a sex addiction. Through our many years of experience, we have put much time and effort into exploring the possible causes of teen sex addiction. In addition to our experience with teens in the wilderness, we have also learned that there haven’t been near enough studies on the topic to be able to refer to the research.

There have been some studies that have alluded to the possible reasons why someone could get addicted to sex. In this post we wanted to explore this matter further and discuss some possible causes of teen sex addiction.

The Brain Matters

A study involving sex addicts revealed that sex addicts have similar pathways in the brain, similar to drugs and food, and these neurological pathways lead to the relational/judgment center of the main. This suggests that sex addicts’ decision making abilities may be compromised when it comes to sexual activities. So, a possible cause can be that they aren’t able to maintain their better judgment when it comes to sexual behavior.

Seeking Reward

When the teens step into this world, they experience a new kind of high that they have not experienced before. The biochemical reactions in their brains are at an all time high and partaking in sexual activity is like giving their brain a shot of steroids. This reward system of the brain can lead them towards sex addiction, without considering the consequences. They can find themselves in dangerous situations because they were not able to say no. This is why they should be enrolled into a program like our Wilderness Therapy program, so their self-destructive behavior can be disrupted.

Addicts’ Past

Many experts believe that past family dysfunction has a huge role to play in a teen’s addiction to sex. Past trauma, sexual or physical abuse and neglect can be huge factors in driving a teen towards sexual addiction. A research into this topic found out that a huge percentage, 82%, of adult sex addicts say that they were abused as children. There is more research needed into the matter to prove the relationship between past abuse and sexual addiction, but it is safe to assume that it plays some kind of role in future sex addiction of teens.

History of Addiction

History of addiction in the family is another possible cause of teen sex addiction. Experts in the field believe that teens who have a history of any type of addiction in the family, are more likely to get addicted to something themselves.

The information above proves that there is more attention required in this area. More research into this area is needed to clarify the causes of teen sex addiction. Though we may not have iron clad proof about the causes of sex addiction, we do know that it is a disease that can destroy a teen’s life. Our Wilderness Therapy program has been designed to help kids with sex addiction and give them the tools needed to achieve healthy sexuality. Contact our representatives (800.584.4629) or browse our site to learn more about our program.

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

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