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Framställningen av sexmissbruk i Steve McQueens Shame


  • Karolina Nordlund

Summary, in English

Sex addiction is a term that was introduced during the 1980s. Since then it has caused a long-standing debate about whether or not it should be an official diagnosis and the psychology and sexology groups are split. It is regarded similar to alcohol and drug addiction while there is also another group of researchers and therapists who argue for a disorder distinguished from the concept of addiction. The critique upon sex addiction is foremost the lack of empirical evidence and that it is based upon a negative culture-bound view of sex.
The portrayal of sex addiction in Steve McQueen’s Shame is based upon the current criteria of the research regarding the problem. While sex in film is mainly divided between either romantic, passionate, erotic, perverse, or violent, the sex scenes in Shame are mechanical where sex functions as a way to overcome stress and trauma. As other American films treat sex addiction in a lightly, satirical and unproblematic way, Shame has brought up the severity of a compulsive sexual behavior that adds to the debate and exposure to the society.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Cultural Sciences
  • Performing Arts
  • Languages and Literatures


  • Steve McQueen
  • Shame
  • sex addiction
  • sexmissbruk
  • hypersexuell störning


  • Olof Hedling (Dr.)