Sexual obsessions and clinical correlates in adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder

Jon E. Grant, Anthony Pinto, Matthew Gunnip, Maria C. Mancebo, Jane L. Eisen, Steven A. Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because little is known about sexual obsessions in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), we examined rates and clinical correlates of sexual obsessions in 293 consecutive subjects with primary lifetime Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, OCD (54.6% females; mean age, 40.5 ± 12.9 years). Symptom severity was examined using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. Comorbidity, treatment response, insight, depression symptoms, quality of life, and social functioning were also assessed. All variables were compared in subjects who have OCD with and without sexual obsessions. Of the 293 subjects with primary OCD, 73 (24.9%) reported a history of sexual obsessions, and 39 (13.3%) of the subjects with OCD reported current sexual obsessions. Women were as likely as men to report sexual obsessions. As compared to those without these symptoms, subjects with current sexual obsessions were significantly more likely to report current aggressive (P < .001) and religious (P = .001) obsessions. Subjects with sexual obsessions also reported an earlier age of onset of OCD than subjects without these symptoms. Severity of OCD, comorbidity, treatment response, insight, depressive symptoms, quality of life, and social functioning did not differ between those with and without sexual obsessions. These preliminary results suggest that sexual obsessions are fairly common among individuals with OCD and may be associated with important clinical characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-329
Number of pages5
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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