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FRHD 2100 Lecture Notes - Paraphilia, Cross-Dressing, American Psychiatric Association

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 2100
Cindy Clarke

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Chapter 15 Sexual Variations
Paraphilias: a diagnostic category used by the American Psychiatric Association to
describe atypical patterns of sexual arousal or behaviour that become problematic
in the eyes of the individual or society, such as fetishism and exhibitionism. The
urges are acted on or are distressing to the individual.
Some paraphilias are generally harmless and victimless, such as fetishism
and cross-dressing to achieve sexual arousal
Charles Moser proposed that the concept of Sexual Interest Disorder (SID)
should be substituted for paraphilia
Key issue is whether that behaviour is causing distress or dysfunction for the
Sexual sadism in which sexual arousal is connected to hurting or humiliating
another person, can be very harmful when it is forced upon a non-consenting
Except for the case of sexual masochism, paraphilias are believed to occur
mostly among men
Fetishism: a paraphilia in which an inanimate object such as an article of clothing or
items made of rubber, leather, or silk elicit sexual arousal
Partialism: a paraphilia related to fetishism in which sexual arousal is exaggerated
associated with a particular body part, such as feet, breasts, or buttocks
Most fetishes and partialsims are harmless
Transvestism: a paraphilia in which a person repeatedly cross-dresses to achieve
sexual arousal or gratification, or is troubled by persistent, recurring urges to cross-
Become excited by wearing articles of clothing the fetishistic objects of
the other gender
Appear to be motivated by autogynephilia a condition in which the
individual is sexually stimulated by fantasies that their own bodies are
Transvestites are usually sexually gratified by cross-dressing and
masturbating or having sex with others while cross-dressing
Transsexuals usually cross-dress because they are uncomfortable with the
attire associated with their anatomic sex and truly wish to be members of the
other sex
Evidence of biological hormonal and neurological abnormalities in
transvestism is mixed
Some men make a living by impersonating women like Marilyn Monroe and
Madonna on stage and are not motivated by sexual arousal
Segments of the gay community, it is fashionable to masquerade as a woman

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Exhibitionism: a paraphilia characterized by persistent, powerful urges and sexual
fantasies that involve exposing one’s genitals to unsuspecting strangers for the
purpose of achieving sexual arousal or gratification
Usually begins before age 18
Declines markedly after the age of 40
Men who exhibit may be at high risk for engaging in more serious offences
Some evidence suggests that exhibitiionists may be attempting to assert their
masculinity by evoking a response from their victims
Exhibitionists to be shy, dependent, passive, lacking in sexual and social
skills, and even inhibited
Preferred victims are typically girls or young women
Exhibitionism by women seems to be increasing
Obscene Telephone Calling and chat Scatophilia
Obscene phone callers (almost all whom are male) seek to become sexually
aroused by shocking their victims
The obscene phone caller “exposes” himself verbally by uttering obscenities
and sexual provocations to a non-consenting person
Telephone Scatologia: a paraphillia characterized by the making of obscene
telephone calls
Few obscene callers are women
Women who are charged with such offenses are generally motivated by rage
for some actual or fantasized rejection rather than the desire for sexual
Male obscene phone callers are generally motivated by a desire for sexual
excitement and usually choose their victims randomly
Typically masturbate during the phone call or shortly afterward
Typical obscene caller is a socially inadequate heterosexual male who has has
difficulty forming intimate relationships with women
Voyeurism: a paraphilia characterized by strong, repetitive urges and related
sexual fantasies of observing unsuspecting strangers who are naked, disrobing, or
engaged in sexual relations
Characterized by urges to spy on unsuspecting strangers
Most voyeurs are nonviolent
Voyeurs who break into and enter homes or buildings, or who tap at
windows to gain the attention of victims are among the most dangerous
Sexual Masochism
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