Coercive Paraphilias

Bio 27 October 22
Chapter 16: Atypical Sexual Behavior
What Is Atypical Sexual Behavior?
• Paraphilia: sexual behavior in
which arousal or response
depends on an unusual,
extraordinary, or bizarre activity
– Previously referred to as deviant,
perverted, aberrant or abnormal
• Atypical sexual behaviors: sexual
behaviors in which most people
do not engage (significant
overlap with paraphilia)
• May be mild tendencies
infrequently expressed, or
regular behaviors; many people
fantasize about atypical sexual
behaviors, but never engage in
• More males report paraphilias and are prosecuted
for crimes related to paraphilias
• Paraphilias are often clustered: if you have one,
you are more likely to have others
• Classified as noncoercive vs. coercive paraphilias
– Noncoercive: paraphilias that do not involve other
people, or that involve the participation of consenting
– Coercive: paraphilias that involve unwilling people,
children, or animals
• Unconventional behavior may alienate others
leading to difficulty in establishing relationships
Non-Coercive Paraphilias: Fetishism
• Fetishism: sexual arousal
primarily from a body part
(like feet) or inanimate object
(like clothing)
• Can be hard to draw a line
between normal activities
with fetishistic overtones and
outright fetishes; usually a
fetish is defined as the
person being fixated on the
object to the exclusion of all
• Rarely harmful to others
– Burglary is most common
serious offense associated with
Origins of fetishism
• Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)
trained a dog to salivate at
the sound of a bell; this
phenomenon is referred to
by psychologists as
• A fetish can be incorporated
into sexual thought through
fantasy, possibly during
• Some children associate
objects (often belonging to
their mothers or sisters) with
sexual arousal; may imbue
objects with characteristics
of that person
Non-Coercive Paraphilias: Transvestic Fetishism
• Transvestic fetishism: Sexual
arousal from wearing clothes
of other sex
• As a diagnostic category,
term is applied only to
heterosexual men
• Rarely harmful to others;
many argue that it should
not be considered a
paraphilia, but rather a
normal part of sexual
expression for some people
Non-Coercive Paraphilias: Sexual Sadism and
Sexual Masochism
• Sadism: sexual arousal from giving physical or psychological
• Masochism: sexual arousal from receiving pain / bondage
– The only paraphilia seen in women with some frequency
• Bondage: taking sexual pleasure from being bound or tied up
• BDSM: bondage, discipline, dominance/submission, and
• Difficult to label because some behaviors common
– Kinsey (1948, 1953) found that 22% of males and 12% of females
responded erotically to stories with SM themes
– Probably more people interested today due to the internet
• More people report masochistic than sadistic tendencies; some
partners switch off SM roles
Why S & M?
• SM is often viewed in a highly negative light
due to its contradiction with sexual activity as
a loving, tender interaction
• For most people, SM is a form of sexual
enhancement that involves mutual shared
Other Non-Coercive Paraphilias
• Autoerotic asphyxia: reducing blood supply to the brain
during heightened sexual arousal; usually achieved by a
chain or leather belt around the neck, sometimes a plastic
bag; blood supply is restored at the time of orgasm.
• Klismaphilia: receiving or giving enemas
• Coprophilia: contact with feces
• Urophilia: contact with urine (“water sports” or “golden
Coercive Paraphilias: Exhibitionism
• Exhibitionism: Exposing
genitals to an involuntary
• Goal is to get attention,
express hostility, or to
shock, unlike with nudism
• Some offenders commit
more serious crimes
• Suggested response
– Calmly ignore it
– Leave immediately
– Report to authorities ASAP
Coercive Paraphilias: Obscene Phone Calls
• Sexual arousal from
response to call
• Usually a shy, insecure
• Suggested response
– Gently hang up, ignore
– Screen calls, call tracing
– Report and ask for new
Coercive Paraphilias: Voyeurism
• Sexual arousal from
observing others
undressing or engaging in
sexual activity, without
their consent
• Offenders often feel
inadequate and lack
sociosexual skills
– Tend to be young men in 20s
• More likely to observe
strangers than
Other Coercive Paraphilias
• Frotteurism: rubbing against an unwilling victim; one study
found that 21% of college-aged men had engaged in such
– In Japan, frotteurism and groping were such a problem that
women-only train cars were introduced
– Perpetrators may orgasm at the time of the act, or incorporate
mental images of it into subsequent masturbation
• Zoophilia: (also called bestiality) sex with animals
– 8% of males and 4% of females report having a sexual experience
with an animal at some point
– Rate is highest among people raised on farms
– Commonly occurs in young people not yet sexually active with
other humans
• Necrophilia: viewing or having intercourse with a corpse
– Extremely rare; some have been known to kill in order to have sex
with their victim’s body
Sex Addiction
• Sex addiction: being dominated by insatiable
sexual need
• Also referred to as nymphomania in women
and satyriasis in men
• Not recognized as an actual psychiatric
disorder in the DSM-IV
• Poorly understood
“Noncoercive paraphilias should not
be considered mental illness, because
they don’t hurt anybody”
How strongly do you agree or disagree with this
statement? Support your answer using specific
strongly agree

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