"At its worst even a violent crime such as rape can be represented as a consequence of sex addiction. Recently a court in Adelaide was told that a man who committed a series of rapes there and in Western Australia had sought treatment for his sexual addiction and, according to a psychological report, was now a "different person".
But the problem with the recycling of bad habits and degrading behaviour as medical problems is not simply that of failing to hold people to account for the consequences of their actions. Yes, a lot of people - including celebrities such as Keith Urban, Tiger Woods, Michael Douglas, Lindsay Lohan - can represent themselves as victims of addiction rather than as lecherous and self-regarding individuals.
The real problem is the message that the diseasing of human behaviour sends to all of us. The fashionable label of an addictive personality encourages people to fatalistically acquiesce to their worst instincts. Addicts are portrayed as victims of circumstances beyond their control: they are literally counselled to accept powerlessness as the defining feature of their existence. Sexaholics Anonymous Australia mimics the 12-step approach of Alcoholics Anonymous. The first step that a sex addict takes on the road to sexual sobriety is to admit that "we were powerless over lust".
So what does everyone think? Do you feel the powerlessness touted by the recovery movement hinders or helps? Are we all in control over our own behavior or are we victims of our own biological whims and/or mental constructs and therefore not responsible for our behaviors? And how would a victim of a crime feel if the perpetrator got off due to "addiction"?