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Variations in Sexual Behaviour Ch 15.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2075
Corey Isaacs

Variations in Sexual Behaviour 4/16/2013 5:39:00 PM Chapter 15 When is Sexual Behaviour Abnormal?  Statistical definition – an abnormal sexual behaviour is one that is rare or not practiced by many people o This definition doesn’t give enough insight into the idea  Sociological approach – a sexual behaviour that violates the norms of society o Recognizes the importance of the individual's interaction with society  Psychological approach – Arnold Buss (Psychopathology) stated the three criteria of abnormality are discomfort, inefficiency and bizarreness o Bizarreness can differ from culture to culture  Medial approach – recognizes 8 specific paraphilias (recurring, unconventional sexual behaviour that I obsessive and compulsive): o Fetishism o Transvestic fetishism o Sexual sadism o Sexual masochism o Voyeurism o Frotteurism o Exhibitionism – indecent exposure (showing one’s genitals in a public place to passersby) o Pedophilia – the most serious paraphilia, against the law o Exemplified by the definitions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)  The normal-abnormal continuum o A mild preference for a fetish object is within the normal range of sexual behaviour o When someone cannot become aroused and engage in sexual activity unless a fetish object is present, this is abnormal o When someone becomes obsessed with the fetish object and needs it at all times, the fetish has become paraphilia Sexual Addictions and Compulsions  Compulsive sexual behaviour – a disorder in which the person experiences intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges and associated sexual behaviour o The distinguishing feature of sexual addictions is that the person has lost control over the behaviour o These people often hold faulty beliefs that allow them to justify this behaviour before engaging in it o Patrick Carnes – each episode of the sexual compulsive behaviour proceeds through a four step cycle that intensifies every time it is repeated:  Preoccupation – person can’t think of anything else  Rituals – certain acts have become a prelude to the addictive act  Compulsive sexual behaviour – the sexual behaviour is enacted and the person feels they have no control  Despair – rather than feeling good after, they fall into a feeling of hopelessness and despair Fetishism  Characterized by sexual fantasies, urges or behaviours involving the use of nonliving objects to produce or enhance sexual arousal with or without a partner  Media fetishes and form fetishes o Media fetish – a fetish whose object is anything made of a particular substance (e.g. leather)  Hard media fetish – leather or rubber  Soft media fetish – fur or silk o Form fetish – a fetish whose object is a particular shape (e.g. high heeled shoe)  Why do people develop a fetish? o Learning theory  Fetishes result from classical conditioning in which a learned association is built between the fetish object and sexual arousal and orgasm o Cognitive theory  People with fetishes have a serious cognitive distortion in that they perceive an unconventional stimulus as erotic distorting their perception of arousal  They feel driven to the sexual behaviour but the arousal may be caused by feelings of guilt and self-loathing o Sexual addiction model Transvestism  The practice of deriving sexual gratification from dressing as a member of the other gender  Drag queen – a gay man who dresses in women’s clothing  Female impersonator – a man who dresses up as a woman as part of a job in entertainment Sadism and Masochism  Sexual sadist – a person who derives sexual satisfaction from inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation on another person o Sadism came from Marquis de Sade  Sexual masochist – a person who derives sexual satisfaction from experiencing pain o Masochism came from Leopold Sacher-Masoch  Bondage and discipline – the use of physical or psychological restraint to enforce servitude from which both participants derive sensual pleasure  Dominance and submission – the use of power consensually given to control the sexual stimulation and behaviour of the other person  Sexual sadomasochistic behaviour o There is a spectrum of activities in this category o People have generally tried a variety of these behaviours and find only some of them satisfying o They develop a script of activities that they prefer to enact every time they engage o Less intense behaviours are much more common o Many people play it out like a theatre scene  Causes of sexual sadomasochism o Learning theory – p
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