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Chapter 15

Psychology 2075 Chapter Notes - Chapter 15: Transvestic Fetishism, Peggy J. Kleinplatz, Sexual Addiction

Course Code
PSYCH 2075

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Human Sexuality
Chapter 15 Part One
Most people divide sexual behaviour into abnormal and normal, most of
the things discussed in this chapter are abnormal, but first what is
When is sexual behaviour abnormal?
Defining abnormal
The statistical definition of abnormal sexual behaviour is a behaviour that
is rare, or not practiced by many people
This definition does not give us much insight into the psychological or
social functioning of the person when engages in the behaviour
In the sociological approach the problem of culture dependence is
explicitly acknowledged
A social psychologist may define a deviant sexual behaviour as a sexual
behaviour that violates the norms of society
The psychological approach was stated by Arnold Buss, he stated that the
three criteria for abnormal behaviour are
o Discomfort
o Inefficiency
o Bizarreness
The problem with the last one, is can be culturally defined (what is found
to be bizarre in one culture may not be in another)
The medical approach is exemplified by the definitions included in the
diagnostic and statistical manual of medical disorders, it recognizes eight
o Recurring, unconventional sexual behaviour that s obsessive and
These eight are; fetishism, transvestic fetishism, sexual sadism, sexual
masochism, voyeurism, froteurism, exhibitionism, and pedophilia
There are additional diagnostic criteria for each disorder, these include:
o 1. The fantasies urges or behaviours have occurred over a period
of at least six months
o 2. They cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social
occupational, or other important areas of functioning
This remains controversial, Canadian psychologist Peggy Kleinplatz
argues that there is no agreed upon definition of healthy sexuality
Most atypical sexual behaviours are not against the law, though some are
Indecent exposure:
o Showing ones genitals in a public place to passersby;

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An example of how community standards of taste can effect laws is when
Gwen Jacobs walked topless, she was charged with committing an
indecent act in a public place
Court appealed that women have the right to go topless as long is it is not
for commercial gain or sexual purposes
72% of Canadians think that it should be illegal, and 48% of Canadians
think it should be illegal for women to go topless on a beach
The Normal-abnormal Continuum
It is hard to distinguish what is considered normal from abnormal
For example many people have mild fetishes like silk underwear
The continuum from normal to abnormal is found on the top of page 427
It could start with a mild preference for silk panties, until the man cant
get off with out them
A behaviour is likely to be found abnormal if it interferes with having
healthy relationships or completing day to day activities and or causes
harm to other people
Sexual Addictions and Compulsions
In the case of sexual addiction, the person has a pathological relationship
to a sexual event or process substituting it for a healthy relationship with
There are differences from sexual addiction and chemical addictions; one
the person doesn’t experience withdrawal
Another criticism is the fact that the term addiction may effect
perceptions of these behaviours and become an excuse for illegal
destructive behaviour
Compulsive Sexual Behaviour
Compulsive sexual behaviour:
o A disorder in which the person experiences intense sexually
arousing fantasies, urges and associated sexual behaviour
It can be paraphilic or non paraphilic
Approximately 5% of the population suffer from this
A distinguishing feature of sexual addiction or compulsions is that the
person has lost control over the behaviour
The key to this is the compulsiveness, the lack of control, the obsession
and the obliviousness to danger or harmful consequences
A person with a sexual compulsion/addiction may spend money that her
or she doesn’t have, may neglect work or family to engage in the
behaviour and may even risk arrest
Each episode of the sexually compulsive behaviour proceeds through a
four step cycle, which intensifies each time it is repeated
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