McConaghy, (2013) explains that Sexual behavior refers to an individual’s sexual practice. This relates to whether the individual engages in the heterosexual or homosexual activity.  Sexual behavior also includes courtship and the act of having sex. Much of this behavior is visual. Social problems on the other ends relate to societies’ perception of an individual’s personal life. As such, there are perceptions of what is considered normal behavior or social problem. This essay discusses sexual behavior as a social problem.


Sexual behavior as a social problem implies to the following: sexual acts that are committed by other persons without their consent. They involve coercion or aggression or exploitation; sexual acts committed by persons not able to provide assent or those with cognitive or intellectual disabilities; sexual acts that involve pornography where images depicted targets, underage children, soliciting children for sexual engagements; voyeuristic behavior and self-directed sexual acts in public places including masturbation (McConaghy, 2013).

Sexual behavior as a social problem can involve people of diverse age groups. These include children, adolescents, young adults and grown up people.   For example, masturbation as a sexual behavior tends to occur at all ages. In children, for instance, the behavior will occur as a self-soothing strategy during their times of stress (McConaghy, 2013). In comparison to adults, children are more likely to engage in impulsive sexual acts than adults. A vast majority of sexual offenders, however, are male in both adults and adolescents. Normally, children have little cognitive development limiting their ability for coping strategies.

For children, their placement in sexual behaviors as a social problem often results from their maltreatment history. Children become more vulnerable to victimization due to the stigma that relates to sexual behavior problems, indiscriminate friendliness, and poor boundaries. However, certain intervention strategies can be engaged to help children with sexual behavior issues. They include play therapy as well as cognitive behavior therapies (McConaghy, 2013). To address the problem in children, the interventions need to be carried out within the child’s family context and or with the caregiver.

In youths, the sexual behavior as a social problem may occur due to impulsivity, family trauma, and social skills deficit. Moreover, these problems begin at a tender age in childhood.  Inadequate rules in homes about modesty or nudity; excessive exposure to nudity or sexual activity as well as inadequate supervision makes increases the vulnerability of an individual to problematic sexual behaviors. This if unnoticed ends up with them in adulthood (McConaghy, 2013). These could be noticed through examining the children for these symptoms: impulsivity that leads to actions without thought; disobedience to parental authority or at school and community in general; the tendency of paying with children much younger as opposed to those their age, limited ability to sooth themselves hence masturbating.

When these sexual behaviors characterize an adult’s life, the implications could be severe. They may include making poor choices about their sexual behavior, severe damage to their interpersonal relations, defilement of young ones, sexual addiction among others (McConaghy, 2013). Sometimes due to stress in relationships, one can engage in sexual behaviors that are problematic. This is due to relational conflict. Relationship problems can make an individual become a perpetrator of problematic social, sexual behavior. This may result in sex dependence or even sexual withdrawal, as both extreme ends.

Sexual behavior in adults can also due to previous experiences of psychological trauma.  They may abstain from sex completely or become sexually dependent moving though the two polarities. These are always attempts to muster the previous nasty events so that they can create them and feel powerful over the traumatic situation that made them feel weak (Rosenberg, Carnes, & O’Connor, 2014).  These behaviors affect their ability to deal with the emotional challenges as well as the trauma itself. The net effect is worsened sexual behavior in an attempt to nurse the unattended wounds or mitigate the pains.

To address this problem that has got enormous damage not just to the affected individual but also the people around them, several approaches can be taken. They include individual or couple psychotherapy In a situation of couples (Rosenberg, Carnes, & O’Connor, 2014).  . Very helpful in this circumstance is an experienced and skilled clinician who will help address these issues.

Rosenberg, Carnes, & O’Connor, (2014) observes that group psychotherapy can also be a strategy used to address the problem. It involves learning to interact with as well as support others who are also experiencing a similar problem as one. It enables one learn how to work through the interpersonal skills. Also, a combination of pharmacological and psychotherapies can work to help address the problem.


In conclusion, both children and adults are at risk of sexual behaviors that are problematic. The conditions that expose them to the problem range from stress, exposure to nudity and sexual acts, trauma among others discussed. However, the problem can be addressed through pharmacological, psychotherapies or a combination of both.

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