Like most of you, when news broke recently about the sexual exploitation of Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein it began to immediately penetrate some dialogues, both in and out of the office. The meaning, impact, and outlandishness of such a public professional powerful figure. The first somewhat heated discussion, with my better half, questioned as to whether Weinstein was or was not a sex addict. Although I am the expert here, he works with children, his take was Weinstein is a sexual predator-an offender and that’s that.
Do we group offenders or sexual predators within the sex addiction category? Yes. However, clearly what Weinstein is and what your more typical sex addict differs.
SEX ADDICT or SEX OFFENDER?
For one, within the offender definition, is the idea of power and control. While that may be a piece of sex addiction for some, it is clearly the motivating force behind Weinstein’s behavior. No remorse, no active internal conflict; these are typically present in the sex addict.
Sex offender typically are defined by some serious psychopathology. With some of the reports of Weinstein’s behaviors (ie-peeing in the plant), assuming they are true, there is suspicion of some deep psychological inadequacies and personality functioning.
So just when I was intending to put pen to paper I found a straight-forward, and succinct piece by my teacher and colleague, Dr. Kenneth M. Adams. You can read his article here for more on these differences.
He does a nice job of identifying the power/control dynamic that exists within the malignant character structure in these people. Years ago, when I did forensic evaluations, I had the opportunity to evaluate several sex offenders, pedophiles in particular. Weinstein does not appear that different.
To learn more about my work with sex addiction, porn addiction, love addiction and more, as well as process addictions, read here.