"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%).