Sexual Recovery Blog

Does Sexual Addiction Lead to Violence?

Posted by Alan Godfrey on


Recently there was a shooting where 8 people tragically died. During the arrest, the person who was arrested stated that he has a sexual addiction and was taking out his aggression. You can see the quotes in the article listed. Does this mean that the addiction was the cause of his violence? I believe that is a complete impossibility. Addiction of any sort does not inevitably drive someone to hurting others. It is more likely this person had another condition such as antisocial personality disorder, a psychotic disorder, or was influenced by outside means. There is no scientific research showing causation between addiction and violence. Yes, these two can overlap, but one does not inherently create the other.

If the individual claims that he was taking out what tempts him to act out his addiction, then he does not understand the nature of addiction.  It is not the outside world that is responsible, but him that is ultimately responsible for his actions. There is always a way out of temptation and that involves regularly using a recovery “safety plan” which may involve calling others, going to therapy, groups, possible medication, and more. If someone is feeling angry with their addiction, they are likely also feeling a lot of shame. This feeling of “not being good enough” can drive people to hate, but usually does not cross the line to violence without prior sources for that violence. If you take care of your self-image then the hate or shame will diminish. Think about how you can go about this, via self-reflection, prayer, identity evaluation, and more. As always, if you need help, reach out to a professional.


Alan Godfrey is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #102925.



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