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Paraphilia--Disorder of Sexual Preference

 
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Paraphilia is a medical term to denote sexual deviation, sexual perversion or a disorder of sexual preference. Unlike curiosity, paraphilia is characterized by repetitive, strong sexual arousal to unusual stimuli (not always sexual). Not all paraphilias as such are illegal (like cross-dressing), but some like pedophilia are considered criminal.

The recognition of paraphilia as deviant sexual behavior was established by Von Krafft Ebbing in 1886. Since then the study of paraphilias has been exhaustive in the field of forensic psychiatry. Today, paraphilias are bona fide disorders recognized in the category of sexual and gender identify disorders in the DSM IV.

For some unknown reason paraphilias occur almost exclusively in males. The paraphilia often starts during early puberty and is almost fully developed by the end of the second decade of life. Men in all cultures have been reported to develop different paraphilias.

In many cases, multiple paraphilias may co-exist at the same time. At least 5-10 percent of men have as many as five to seven paraphilias.

In most cases, the individual never seeks help and is only seen by health professional after legal troubles starts. To make a diagnosis of a paraphilia one must have intense and recurrent sexual fantasies or sexual urges that usually involve inanimate objects, children, and non-consenting adults. The behavior is often associated with torment or humiliation of others. In addition, the activity must have lasted at least six months and caused significant emotional distress and difficulties in interpersonal relationships

Some of the common paraphilias include:
• Pedophilia –sexual activity involving children
• Exhibitionism -exposing one's genitalia
• Fetishism is a love for specific objects like underwear or pantyhose
• Frotteurism is rubbing against strangers (esp. in crowded places)
• Sexual masochism (pain or humiliation of self)
• Sexual sadism which involves pain or humiliation of others
• Transvestic fetishism –involves wearing clothes of the opposite sex
• Voyeurism involves peeping
Other rare paraphilias include:
Telephone scatologia- making obscene sexually explicit phone calls

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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