Sexual Misconduct

Some people who struggle with sex addiction cross the line to sexual misconduct due to the escalation of their addiction.

The Legal Dictionary describes sexual misconduct as follows:

Sexual misconduct encompasses a range of behavior used to obtain sexual gratification against another’s will or at the expense of another. Sexual Misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, and any conduct of a sexual nature that is without consent, or has the effect of threatening or intimidating the person against whom such conduct is directed. State laws vary on defining acts which constitute sexual misconduct. Generally sexual misconduct can involve any of the following acts:

  1. Intentional touching without consent;
  2. Exposing his or her genitals under circumstances likely to cause affront or alarm;
  3. Having sexual contact in the presence of a third person or persons under circumstances likely to cause affront or alarm;
  4. Having sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse in a public place in the presence of a third person;
  5. Soliciting or requesting another person to engage in sexual conduct under circumstances in which he knows that his requests or solicitation is likely to cause affront or alarm;
  6. Forcing a victim to touch, directly or through clothing, another person's genitals, breast, groin, thighs or buttocks;
  7. Vaginal or anal intercourse;
  8. Fellatio or cunnilingus;
  9. Sexual penetration with an object without consent.

In the legal sense, for a person in a position of authority it includes in particular any sexual activity between him or her and one of his or her subordinates. This commonly includes teachers and their students, clergy and their congregants, doctors and their patients, and employers and their employees. While such activity is usually not explicitly illegal, it is often against professional ethics code. For example, a teacher may be fired and a doctor may have his or her medical license revoked because of sexual misconduct. In addition, the person in the subordinate position may allege sexual harassment. 

Entering a sexual relationship with a subordinate, even when the contact is initiated by the latter, is considered unethical because of the subordinate's vulnerability to the physician and the inequality of power that characterizes the relationship. In the case of the doctor-patient relationship,  having a sexual relationship with the patient even after the professional relationship has concluded remains problematic for the physician because of the potential for the patient's continuing dependence on and transference towards the physician. Therefore, sexual relationships with former patients are considered unethical when physicians “use or exploit the trust, knowledge and emotions or influence derived from the previous professional relationship” in any way.

If you suspect your  sexual misconduct is part of a bigger issue connected to sexual addiction, consider setting up an in-depth assessment at NYCSAT  and read the information provided on this website on sex addiction.

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