4 thoughts on “The Myth of the “Normal” Childhood: Why are you a Sex Addict?

  • May 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    It feels like you’re drawing the wrong conclusion from your own opening.

    First of all, what was Carnes’ control group? That is, what percentage of people suffering from, say, ADHD, reported “emotional abuse,” or what percent of people on line at an average supermarket? Also, since your first paragraphs seems to indicate that childhood experiences are subjective, what percentage of people reporting “emotional abuse” actually experienced it, and what percentage of people self-reporting had such psychological makeups as to inflate normal parental discipline or behavior into “abuse?” I’m sure Carnes must have discussed all this, since it’s crucial for a determination of the validity of his data…and for the conclusion you draw.

  • May 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for the link. Read it. Carnes had no control. He had no baseline for normal. He did no comparison groups. He had no scale for what he reports as “trauma.” He conducted the “studies” over many years. There is no way to determine validity, and there is no way to determine accuracy. His work is unverifiable and impossible to duplicate by any other social scientist who wanted to replicate the study. You’ve got a doctorate in psychology, Dr. Hatch. You know what your statistics professor would have done with a “data” like this? Yep! If he spoke Russian, he’d call it “dermo.”

    However, thank you for that link. I’d been wondering about Carnes’ “data” for years. Now, I understand everything a whole lot better.

  • September 1, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Thanks for this article, Dr. Hatch! You share a lot of helpful insights. For years, prior to my discovering his “acting out,” and his realizing that he is a sex addict, I would tell my husband that there must be some reason for his terribly low self-esteem. But he would say that he had a happy, normal childhood. Now that he is in treatment, he recognizes that the way his parents treated him was very wrong. He was hit, yelled at, etc by his father without even a semblance of a good reason, and his mother expected him to cater to her emotional needs.
    Do you feel that addicts in recovery have a better chance of success if they are no longer in contact with toxic family members? To the best of my knowledge, my husband is doing quite well in treatment and has been “sober” for six months since beginning to see a CSAT. He has not had any contact with his parents or sisters and is happy to keep it that way.


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