Reckless sexual behaviour - commonly known as sexual addiction - is a growing and serious problem, a researcher has found.
In the latest issue of the Sexual and Relationship Therapy journal, Robyn Salisbury, the director of Sex Therapy New Zealand, says treatment of the condition has been neglected for too long.
In an article she suggests practical measures to address sexual addiction such as developing strong non-sexual relationships and directly addressing such individual behaviours as chronic masturbation.
Salisbury said sexual addiction was at the root of many social ills.
"Look in your own backyard - rapes, murders, incest," she said.
"There are so many big social problems caused by sexuality issues and they're not addressed well and I think it's important."
Salisbury said sexual addiction was a similar problem to alcoholism or drug addiction. "Some of those people who act on the outside like they are highly appropriate, conservative people are actually seething with this kind of problem inside them and just need to get the appropriate help to deal with it."
There was a mountain of theoretical research into the problem but few practical solutions, she said.
Conservative attitudes to sex were partly to blame for this.
Salisbury said a recent case involving a teacher spotted looking at child pornography was an example of sexual addiction.