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Sexual Fetishes, Paraphilias, and Assorted Perversions

Sexual Fetishes, Paraphilias, and Assorted Perversions

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Published by: Krishnarm11 on Sep 12, 2011
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Sexual Fetishes, Paraphilias, andAssorted Perversions
Paraphilia (in Greek para παρά = beside and
philia φιλία = friendship, having the
meaning of love) is a biomedical term used to describe sexual arousal to objects,situations, or individuals that are not part of normative stimulation and that may causedistress or serious problems for the paraphiliac or persons associated with him or her. Aparaphilia involves sexual arousal and gratification towards sexual behavior that isatypical and extreme. The term was coined by Wilhelm Stekel in the 1920s.Controversial sexologist John Money later popularized the term as a nonpejorativedesignation for unusual sexual interests. He described paraphilia as "a sexuoeroticembellishment of, or alternative to the official, ideological norm."In the late 19th century, psychologists and psychiatrists started to categorize variousparaphilias as they wanted a more descriptive system than the legal and religiousconstructs of sodomy[8] and perversion. Before the introduction of the term paraphilia inthe DSM-III (1980), the term sexual deviation was used to refer to paraphilias in the firsttwo editions of the manual. American Journal of Psychiatry describes paraphilia as"recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generallyinvolving:Non-human objectsThe suffering or humiliation of oneself or one's partner ChildrenNon-consenting persons[12]Up until 1973, sexual attraction to persons of the same sex was included in this list.The view of paraphilias as disorders is not universal. Some groups seeking greater understanding and acceptance of sexual diversity have lobbied for changes to the legaland medical status of unusual sexual interests and practices. Charles Allen Moser, aphysician and advocate for sexual minorities, has argued that the diagnoses should beeliminated from diagnostic manuals. Psychiatrist Glen Gabbard writes that despiteefforts by Stekel and Money, "the term paraphilia remains pejorative in mostcircumstances."In the current version of the DSM (DSM-IV-TR), a paraphilia is not diagnosable as apsychiatric disorder unless it causes distress to the individual or harm to others. TheDSM-5 draft adds a terminology distinction between the two cases, stating that
"paraphilias are not ipso facto psychiatric disorders", and defining paraphilic disorder as"a paraphilia that causes distress or impairment to the individual or harm to others". Thiswill make a clear distinction between a healthy person with a non-normative sexualbehavior and a person with a psychopathological non-normative sexual behavior.In the United States, following a series of landmark cases in the US Supreme Court,persons diagnosed with paraphilias and a history of anti-social behavior, particularlypedophilia (Kansas v. Hendricks, 1997) and exhibitionism (Kansas v. Crane, 2002), canbe held indefinitely in civil confinement under various state legislation generically knownas Sexually violent predator laws and the federal Adam Walsh Act (United States v.Comstock, 2010).
Sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism
Sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism, is the sexual arousal a person receives from aphysical object, or from a specific situation. The object or situation of interest is calledthe fetish, the person a fetishist who has a fetish for that object/situation. Sexualfetishism may be regarded, e.g. in psychiatric medicine, as a disorder of sexualpreference or as an enhancing element to a relationship causing a better sexual bondbetween the partners. Arousal from a particular body part is classified as partialism.
The word fetish derives from the French fétiche, which comes from the Portuguesefeitiço (“spell”), which in turn derives from the Latin facticius (“artificial”) and facere (“tomake”). A fetish is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, aman-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value or powers to an object. The terms "erotic fetish" and "sexual fetish" werefirst introduced by Alfred Binet.If a sexual fetish causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or hasdetrimental effects on important areas of their life, it is diagnosable as a paraphilia in theDSM and the ICD. Many people embrace their fetish rather than attempting treatment torid themselves of it.In a review of the files of all cases over a 20-year period which met criteria for non-transvestic fetishes in a teaching hospital, 48 cases were identified, and the objects of their fetishes included clothing (58.3%), rubber and rubber items (22.9%), footwear (14.6%), body parts (14.6%), leather jackets and vests, and leather items (10.4%), andsoft materials and fabrics (6.3%).
Alfred Binet, a French psychologist, lawyer and hypnotist, proposed that fetishes beclassified as either "spiritual love" or "plastic love". "Spiritual love" occupied the devotionfor specific mental phenomena, such as attitudes, social class, or occupational roles;while "plastic love" referred to the devotion exhibited towards material objects such asanimals, body parts, garments, textures or shoes.The existential approach to mental disorders developed in the 1940s and influenced aview that fetishes had complex personal meanings beyond the general categories of psychoanalytical treatment.[citation needed] For instance, the Austrian neurologist andlogotherapist Viktor Frankl once noted the case of a man with a sexual fetish involving,simultaneously, both frogs and glue.[6] However, Frankl's logotherapy is but one of dozens of psychological systems or methods of psychotherapy that compete withpsychoanalysis.The concept of spiritual love is not accepted globally because it is impossible to fullydefine what exactly is "spiritual love." Mental phenomena, attitudes, and social class areall things that can be obsessed over, but it is hard to prove that they would be a sexualobsession. It is also hard to incorporate any "idea" into a sexual act or stimulation.However, a mental obsession, such as an idea or excessive thought, can be progressedinto a "plastic love." For example, role playing. If a person has a mental obsession withcowboys, their partner could dress up as a cowboy to make it a real thing or "plasticlove."
Psychological origins and development 
Early psychology assumed that fetishism either is being conditioned or imprinted or theresult of a strong emotional (e.g., traumatic) or physical experience. Often, theseexperiences were experienced in early childhood. For example, an individual who hasbeen physically abused could either have a sexual obsession with intercourse, or theycould be completely terrified by even the idea of being touched. It is assumed that thosewho have been sexually abused create an obsession with being touched or touchingothers, and possibly even abuse someone else. Physical factors like genetic dispositionare another common possible explanation. In the following, the most important theoriesare presented in chronological order:Alfred Binet suspected fetishism was the pathological result of associations.Accidentally simultaneous presentation of a sexual stimulus and an inanimate object, heargued, led to the object being permanently connected to sexual arousal.The sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld followed another line of thought when he proposedhis theory of partial attractiveness in 1920. According to his argument, sexualattractiveness never originates in a person as a whole but always is the product of theinteraction of individual features. He stated that nearly everyone had special interestsand thus suffered from a healthy kind of fetishism, while only detaching and overvaluing

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