Anthony Weiner and the realities of online sexual addiction

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NEW YORK (PIX11) – What drives a person to take a picture of their penis, and electronically send it to someone they’ve never met in person – essentially a stranger?

And what drives them to continue engaging in that same personally and professionally destructive behavior – after becoming embroiled in a monumental scandal that ends with a resignation from Congress?

Psychotherapist Lisa Brateman says regardless of whether you believe what the embattled mayoral candidate is saying now – it’s more important to pay attention to his actions back in the summer and fall of 2011.

“His impulse control is ruining his career.  And when someone hits rock bottom, that usually gives them the time to make changes,” Brateman told PIX11.  “It’s a sexual charge that he’s getting. And the sexual charge is very, very powerful.”

Brateman says what’s more surprising is just who is at the center of this scandal – a grown man, father, and husband who’s almost 50-years old, adding traditionally that demographic isn’t likely to embrace sexting.

So does that mean Anthony Weiner simply suffers from sex addiction?

Maybe not – according to newly released study in the scientific journal ‘Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology.’

Dr. Nicole Prause’s research found just because someone enjoys frequently looking at sexual images doesn’t mean they get to explain away their actions with an addiction.

“An addiction model does not seem to describe the people who are having problem viewing sexual images. One possibility is these individuals just have a high sex drive and have a behavior problem,” said Dr. Prause.

The bigger question is whether impression, tech savvy voters will make a connection between Weiner’s missteps online and his judgment in elected office.

Peter Shankman is a social media expert.

“In an age of social media, to think you can get away with anything like that – any kind of lie, any kind of, oh – they’ll never know who I am – is ridiculous!” said Shankman.

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