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The aim of this study was to estimate the relative frequency of Fetishes in a large sample of individuals. Using the Internet as a data source, we examined 381 discussion groups. We estimate, very conservatively, that at least 5000 individuals were targeted. The relative frequency of each preference category was estimated considering (a) the number of groups devoted to the category, (b) the number of individuals participating in the groups and (c) the number of messages exchanged. The three measures agree both parametrically (Cronbach's alpha=0.91) and non-parametrically (Kendall's W=0.94, P<0.01). Preferences for body parts or features and for objects usually associated with the body were most common (33 and 30%, respectively), followed by preferences for other people's behavior (18%), own behavior (7%), social behavior (7%) and objects unrelated to the body (5%). Feet and objects associated with feet were the most common target of preferences. These findings provide the first large database in an area, where the knowledge is particularly scarce.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Relative prevalence of different fetishes
C Scorolli
1
, S Ghirlanda
1,2,3
, M Enquist
2,4
, S Zattoni
3
and EA Jannini
5
1
Department of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy;
2
Group for Interdisciplinary Cultural Research, Stockholm
University, Sweden;
3
Faculty of Psychology, University of Bologna, Italy;
4
Zoology Institution, Stockholm University,
Sweden and
5
Department of Experimental Medicine, L’Aquila University, L’Aquila, Italy
The aim of this study was to estimate the relative frequency of Fetishes in a large sample of
individuals. Using the Internet as a data source, we examined 381 discussion groups. We estimate,
very conservatively, that at least 5000 individuals were targeted. The relative frequency of each
preference category was estimated considering (a) the number of groups devoted to the category,
(b) the number of individuals participating in the groups and (c) the number of messages exchanged.
The three measures agree both parametrically (Cronbach’s a ¼ 0.91) and non-parametrically
(Kendall’s W ¼ 0.94, Po0.01). Preferences for body parts or features and for objects usually
associated with the body were most common (33 and 30%, respectively), followed by preferences for
other people’s behavior (18%), own behavior (7%), social behavior (7%) and objects unrelated to the
body (5%). Feet and objects associated with feet were the most common target of preferences. These
findings provide the first large database in an area, where the knowledge is particularly scarce.
International Journal of Impotence Research (2007) 19, 432437; doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901547;
published online 15 February 2007
Introduction
Human sexuality is an interdisciplinary area where
researchers from different fields such as medicine,
biology, psychology, sociology and anthropology
meet and, to some extent, compete to explain
phenomena.
1–3
In particular, the expert in sexual
medicine is frequently called to deal with sexual
symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction or ejacula-
tory disturbances, that can be directly or indirectly
correlated with particular or unusual sexual inter-
ests. For many reasons (the private aspect of sexual
behavior, lack of strong theoretical models, lack of
funding), however, it is difficult to gather data from
large samples. This is especially true for rare sexual
preferences and behaviors, that are often referred as
‘deviant’ or ‘bizarre’ and whose expression may be
discouraged by society (in the scientific literature:
‘paraphilias’, ‘variant’ or ‘atypical’ preferences). As
a result, efforts to explain rare sexual preferences
and behaviors have been based on data from such
sources as psychiatric patients, sex offenders and
persons who have sought or have been referred to a
therapist.
2,4
To date, there is little theoretical under-
standing of why an object or a body part unrelated to
functional sexual activity attracts so much attention
as in fetishism. Although the available data may
suggest some pathogenetic mechanisms, they are not
sufficient to distinguish between inherited or en-
vironmental origin of fetishism. Moreover, there is
little empirical research attempting to estimate the
relative frequency of atypical sexual preferences in
the general population. Here, we present such a
research in a large, selected population of English-
speaking internet users.
Methods
Data source
We gathered data from public access areas of the
English-language section of Yahoo! groups, a large
collections of Internet discussion groups (http://
groups.yahoo.com). By registering with the Yahoo!
service, anyone is entitled to create discussion
groups on any topic, provided no copyrighted
material is posted and sexual or otherwise sensitive
content is posted only to age-restricted sections of
the site (see Yahoo!s terms of service at http://
docs.yahoo.com/info/terms). Many groups relate to
sexuality. The material posted to a group is often
reserved to group members (membership is usually
Received 13 June 2006; revised 30 December 2006;
accepted 5 January 2007; published online 15 February
2007
Correspondence: Professor EA Jannini, Department of
Experimental Medicine, University of L’Aquila, Via
Vetoio, Bldg 2, Room A2/54, L’Aquila, AQ 67100, Italy.
E-mail: jannini@univaq.it
International Journal of Impotence Research (2007) 19, 432437
&
2007 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved 0955-9930/07 $30.00
www.nature.com/ijir
granted by the group founder after applying directly
by the Web or by email), but the following informa-
tion is public:
1. The group name.
2. A description of the group.
3. The number of group members.
4. A record of group activity (number of posted
messages for each month since creation).
We used this information to estimate the relative
frequency of sexual preferences for objects, body parts
and behaviors, as detailed below. Through the search
interface of Yahoo! groups, we obtained a list of 2938
groups whose name or description text contained the
word ‘fetish’. On 28 October, 2004, we downloaded
the public information for these groups via a custom
program (available at request). As a comparison, we
quote how many groups are retrieved using some
popular sports as keywords (as of November 2005):
football (6383); soccer (4221); basketball (3471);
hockey (2724); and volleyball (1710).
The word ‘fetish’ that we used to locate data on
sexual preferences is utilized in everyday language
with a much broader scope than its psychiatric
definition,
2
and the two should not be confused. In
everyday usage, ‘fetish’ refers to sexually arousing
stimuli that would not meet psychiatric criteria for
a diagnosis of fetishism.
5
In many cases, they may
simply enhance sexual interest or satisfaction rather
than being necessary for it. ‘Fetish’ may also refer to
preferences for objects or activities in non-sexual
contexts (see below). In this study, we used ‘fetish’
merely as a convenient keyword to retrieve data
about sexual preferences through the search inter-
face of Yahoo! groups. Our aim was to survey sexual
preferences and not clinical cases of Fetishism.
Criteria for inclusion and sample size
Starting from the 2938 groups initially retrieved, we
selected the ones relevant for our study as follows.
First, we identified groups that dealt with sexual
topics. Thus, we discarded groups that used ‘fetish’
in a non-sexual context (e.g., fetish for a rock band)
as well as groups that used ‘fetish’ to deny that the
group was about sex, apparently to avoid undesired
sexual content being posted to the group. For
instance, a support group for pregnant women stated
explicitly that the group did not discuss ‘pregnancy
fetish’. For some groups, the sexual nature of
the topic could not be established with confidence
(e.g., there was no description text). Applying the
criterion that a group should be clearly identifiable
as discussing a sexual topic, we discarded from
further analysis 2161 groups.
Of the remaining groups, 372 were discarded
because they discussed ‘sex’ or ‘fetishism’ generic-
ally and thus could not be categorized. A further 18
groups were excluded because the message record
(one of our measures of frequency, see below) was
not available, and six groups were discarded
because they had no members. The groups that
passed all inclusion criteria were thus 381. The
average activity in these groups totals over 4000
messages per month, with over 1 50 000 nominal
members. Although the latter figure is certainly
inflated, because people usually subscribe to more
groups, it is likely that the number of individuals
targeted by our survey is, at least, of many
thousands. If everyone subscribed to as many as 30
groups, for instance, we would still have informa-
tion from about 5000 individuals. Usually, a study
of atypical sexual preferences with 100 or more
participants is considered very large.
2,4
Data analysis
We devised a scheme whereby a sexual preference
could be assigned to one or more categories. Three
macroareas were devised: body, objects and beha-
viors. These were further subdivided to describe,
in broad terms preferences for (the examples in
parentheses come from our data):
1. A part or feature of the body (e.g., feet or
overweight individuals), including body modifi-
cations (e.g., tattoos).
2. An object usually experienced in association with
the body (e.g., shoes or headphones).
3. An object not usually associated with the body
(e.g., dirty dishes, candles).
4. An event involving only inanimate objects (we
found no examples).
5. A person’s own behavior (e.g., biting fingernails).
6. A behavior of other persons (e.g., smoking or
fighting).
7. A behavior or situation requiring an interaction with
others (e.g., domination or humiliation role play).
Each group was assigned to one or more categories
based on its name, the accompanying description
text and, were available, the message subjects
and content. Each group was independently classi-
fied by two researchers. Disagreements were limited
to about 5% of cases (usually when more cate-
gories were involved), and were resolved by
discussion. We then proceeded to estimate the
relative frequency of the different preference
categories. We constructed three indices of
frequency:
1. The number of groups assigned to the category.
2. The total number of members of groups assigned
to the category.
3. The total number of messages, per month of
activity, exchanged in groups assigned to the
category.
The three measures were analyzed both parame-
trically, by the Cronbachs-a, and non-parametri-
cally, using the Kendall’s-W. Significance has been
Relative prevalence of different fetishes
C Scorolli et al
433
International Journal of Impotence Research
setted at Po0.05 and a computerized program has
been used for data analysis.
Results
The three indices of frequency (number of groups,
members, messages) agreed well both in ranking the
categories from most common to rarest (Kendall’s-
W ¼ 0.94, Po0.01) and in estimating their relative
frequency (Cronbach’s-a ¼ 0.91).
About 70% of groups (273 of 381) was assigned to
only one category. Figure 1a shows how members of
these groups are distributed among categories. The
majority of sexual preferences appears to involve
parts or features of the body and objects usually
associated with the body. There were no cases of
preferences for events that involve only inanimate
objects or a person’s own behavior. Figure 1b
includes also groups classified into two categories
(n ¼ 85, 22%) or more (n ¼ 23, 6%). The figure is
built by letting each group contribute to all cate-
gories into which it had been classified. For
instance, a group about ‘balloons and smoking’
(whose members declare a sexual interest for
smoking girls playing with balloons) contributed
its 1182 members to both the ‘external object’ and
‘other’s behavior’ categories. Additionally, Table 1
displays which combinations of two categories were
found. Body parts and objects associated with the
body appear most frequent, but behaviors that were
preferred when performed either by oneself or by
others are also common. The latter explains most of
the difference between Figures 1a and b.
Tables 2 and 3 present, respectively, an analysis
of preferences for body parts and objects usually
associated with the body. Among these, feet and
toes, as well as objects associated with the feet, such
as socks and shoes, received most of the preferences.
Table 1 Relative frequency of sexual preferences relating to two preference categories
Preference category Group members Relative frequency (%)
Body part/feature þ social behavior 14 147 26
Own behavior þ other’s behavior 9831 18
Object associated with body þ external event 6544 12
Body part/feature þ object associated with body 5252 10
Body part/feature þ object not associated with body 4383 8
Social behavior þ other’s behavior 2774 5
Body part/feature þ other’s behavior 2249 4
Own behavior þ object associated with body 1938 4
Body part/feature þ own behavior 1734 3
Object associated with body þ object not associated with body 1685 3
Other’s behavior þ object associated with body 1276 2
Other’s behavior þ object not associated with body 1199 2
Other’s behavior þ external event 631 1
Social behavior þ object associated with body 284 o1
Social behavior þ object not associated with body 30 o1
Other combinations 00
Figure 1 Distribution of sexual preferences expressed in Yahoo!
discussion groups. (a) Estimated distribution from all groups that
have been classified into a single category. (b) Estimated
distribution including groups that were classified into any
number of categories (in which case a group contributed to all
relevant categories, see Methods).
Relative prevalence of different fetishes
C Scorolli et al
434
International Journal of Impotence Research
Discussion
This is the first large survey on the relative
prevalence of unusual sexual stimuli on a very large
worldwide sample of people interested on fetishism.
Our data demonstrate that most sexual preferences
are directly related to the human body (e.g., feet) or
to objects experienced in close association with the
body (e.g., pieces of clothing). A similar pattern
has been reported in an informal investigation of
a few Internet news groups
6
and in a sample of 48
psychiatric patients.
7
Preferences for external
objects, one’s own behaviors and events that do
not involve persons are instead rare.
The database of knowledge in Fetishism is scarce.
Although simply observational in nature, these data
allow some speculations within an area in high need
of research and clarification.
The lack of epidemiological data and of a shared
taxonomy for describing paraphilic behaviors is one
of the primary factors that has hampered the
scientific scrutiny of Fetishism as well as the search
for etiological mechanisms.
8
Although many the-
ories have been advanced to account for the
Table 2 Sexual preferences for body parts or features
Preferred body part or feature Sexological classification (*) Group
members
Relative
frequency
(%)
Feet, toes Podophilia 44 722 47
Body fluids (blood, urine, etc.) Golden/brown showers, watersport, urophilia,
scatophilia, lactaphilia, menophilia, mucophilia
8376 9
Body size (obesity, tall, short, etc.) Chubby chasers, nanophilia 8241 9
Hair Trichophilia 6707 7
Muscles Cratophilia (strength), sthenophilia (muscle) 5515 5
Body modifications (tattoes, pierceing,
etc.)
Tattoing, piercing, ringing, stigmatophilia 4102 4
Genitals Medophilia 3336 4
Belly or navel Alvinophilia 2861 3
Ethnicity Allotriorastry, miscegenation, xenophilia 2681 3
Breasts Mammaphilia, mammagynophilia, mastofact 2602 3
Legs, buttocks Crurofact, Pygophilia 1830 2
Mouth, lips, teeth Odontophilia 1697 2
Body hair Hirsutophilia, gynephilus- and pubephilia (pubic hair
fetish), depilation
864 o1
Nails ‘Bed of Nails’ 669 o1
Nose Nasophilia, hygrophilia 316 o1
Ears / 91 o1
Neck / 88 o1
Body odor Mysophilia, osmophilia 82 o1
A group could contribute to more entries; e.g. the group ‘barefoot bodybuilders’ contributed to both the ‘feet, toes’ and ‘muscles’
categories. The total number of members is not the same as Figure 1 because some body related groups could not be categorized as
referring to a body part (e.g., the group ‘young firm teen body’). (*).
12,26
Table 3 Sexual preferences for objects associated with the body
Preferred object Group members Relative frequency (%)
Objects worn on legs and buttocks (stockings, skirts, etc.) 27 490 33
Feetwear 26 739 32
Underwear 10 046 12
Whole-body wear (costumes, coats, etc.) 7424 9
Objects worn on trunk (jacket, waistcoat, etc.) 7226 9
Objects worn on head and neck (hats, necklaces, etc.) 2357 3
Stethoscopes 933 1
Wristwatches, bracelets, etc. 716 o1
Diapers 483 o1
Hearing aids 150 o1
Catheters 28 o1
Pace-makers 2 o1
A group could contribute to more entries, see Table 2. The total number of members is not the same as Figure 1 because some groups
could not be categorized as referring to specific objects (e.g., the group ‘leather wearing’).
Relative prevalence of different fetishes
C Scorolli et al
435
International Journal of Impotence Research
development of typical and atypical sexual beha-
viors, none has been fully convincing. By applying
evolutionary biology to human sexuality, some
authors aimed to demonstrate an innate mechan-
ism(s) to explain sexual preferences.
9
Others
consider sexual preferences, such as male homo-
sexuality, genetic in nature.
10
Our results partially
agree and partially contrast this theory, at least for
fetishes. In fact, the highly frequent preference for
artificial objects here demonstrated seems not
consistent with the genetic determination of
preferences. It is unlikely that a particular genetic
makeup should result in a preference for specific
stimuli such as, for instance, coats, balloons, eye-
glasses or headphones all of which we found in
our data. On the other hand, the abundance of body-
related preferences (feet, breast, etc.) may derive
from a genetic predisposition that favors the acqui-
sition of such preferences, as we discussed pre-
viously.
11
It has been hypothesized that the selection of a
fetish involves conditioning or learned behavior and
requires a strong stimulus for it to register.
12
Freud
attributed a major role to early events, viewing
fetishism as the adult consequence of the castration
complex developed during childhood, whereby the
fetish functions as a penis substitute.
13,14
Some of
our findings are in keeping with this theory. Freud
noticed the frequent interest in feet
15
and ascribed
this to the notion that feet are a penis symbol, a
claim that a posteriori could be made of many
objects. We found podophilia prominent (about half
of Feticist groups subscribers) in our sample.
Many theories of sexuality are grounded on the
notion that sexual preferences are acquired through
interactions with others.
1,2
Ethologists, for instance,
have shown that many bird and mammal species
acquire sexual preferences through interactions
with conspecifics early in life,
16,17
and a few studies
have suggested imprinting-like processes in hu-
mans.
18
Based on these ideas, it has been suggested
that non-functional sexual preferences may be an
atypical outcome of acquisition processes that
usually lead to functional preferences.
1,19
The
pattern here empirically found suggests that it could
be relatively easy to acquire a sexual preference for
stimuli and behaviors that are usually experienced
in association with other individuals, whereas in the
absence of such association, the establishment of
a sexual preference may be more difficult.
Both strengths and weaknesses of our study are
concerned with the use of the Internet as a data
source. The Internet is increasingly used for scien-
tific research in sexology,
20,21
because it allows to
gather large samples even for particular behaviors or
sexual symptoms and also it encourages people to
freely express themselves,
22,23
which in the present
context may overcome some biases associated with
traditional questionnaires on sexual behaviors.
24
The most commonly recognized shortcomings of
Internet studies are possible sampling biases and
deliberately inaccurate reporting.
25
The latter is less
relevant here because we simply observe the free
expression of sexual preferences, rather than en-
quiring about them. Sampling biases in Internet
studies are often attributed to the higher socio-
economical and educational status of Internet users.
These, however, are no longer an elite in many
countries, and it is estimated that 60% of USA
citizens are Internet users.
25
Although it is difficult
to ascertain whether the putative 1 50 000 Yahoo!
groups subscribers here surveyed represent the
general population, it should be acknowledged that
most of the research on atypical sexual behavior
is based on data sources that are, in all likelihood,
even less representative, such as psychiatric
patients and sex offenders. A potential bias of our
study is that data have been gathered searching for
the word ‘fetish’. Thus preferences and behaviors
that are not commonly labeled ‘fetishism’ may be
under-represented. However, a bias in our conclu-
sions would follow only if such behaviors fell
preferentially into one or several specific categories,
something for which we have no evidence.
Our study, however large compared with others,
only analyzed a tiny fraction of the Internet. It
would be very rewarding to survey other portions of
the Internet, for instance from non-English-speaking
communities, to potentially reveal cultural variation
in preferences.
Acknowledgments
This research was partially funded by the Italian
Ministry of University, Education and Research
(PRIN 2003 and 2005 grants) and by an unrestricted
grant from Pfizer Italy.
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... However, it is more challenging to explain an innate basis for paraphilias, where individuals are motivated by sexual arousal patterns involving unusual objects, activities, or situations that would be unlikely to contribute to reproductive success in the environment of evolutionary adaptation (Rowland & Incrocci, 2008). However, some paraphilias are more common than others (Scorolli et al., 2007), and it has been suggested that many of these alternative sexualities could arise from the malfunctioning of mechanisms that were adaptive in other contexts (Quinsey, 2012). Yet, it is difficult to think of a neurologically realistic causal pathway that would not rely on a substantial degree of learning, especially considering instances of sexual arousal centering on imagining oneself as an amputee (Money & Simcoe, 1984), feeding one's partner to the point of obesity (Terry et al., 2012), desiring to transform into a cartoon dog (Freund & Blanchard, 1993), or numerous other scenarios. ...
... However, even if only a rare exception, paraphilias for which innate origins are a priori implausible-e.g. arousal responses to party balloons or bicycles (Scorolli et al., 2007)-represent a proof-of-concept that childhood experiences can result in robust patterns of arousal that continue into adulthood. Moreover, experiences of arousal must interact with learning processes in order to explain how specific aspects of preferences change with time. ...
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Is sexual orientation an evolutionary adaptation or social construct? With respect to sexual preferences, to what extent are we "born that way" and to what extent does learning matter? This chapter discusses how nature and nurture may interact to shape sexual motivation by reviewing existing literature on sexual preferences and orientations, as well as by considering sex/gender differences in erotic plasticity, sexual fluidity, and the specificity of sexual arousal. We describe how these phenomena might be accounted for by processes in which mind body feedback loops amplify some sexual responses over others on multiple levels, which we refer to as the Reward Competition Feedback (RCF) model. With respect to sex/gender differences, we describe how these positive feedback processes might be amplified in men compared with women, potentially substantially driven by differences in the constraints and affordances of female and male anatomy. More specifically, we argue that the well-known female-male difference in the concordance of genital and subjective arousal may contribute to well-known differences in sexual specificity and plasticity/fluidity. We further provide convergent support 2 for RCF by reviewing preexisting theories of sexual learning. Finally, we consider some of the ethical implications of models in which sexual orientation might be shaped by experiences over the course of development.
... Shaffer and Penn [22] list 26 different paraphilic attractions to various body parts including: breasts; buttocks; legs; teeth; and armpits. Some body parts are relatively common sources of sexual arousal; foot fetishism (podophilia), for example, was found to be particularly prevalent in a study conducted by Scorolli et al [23]. The authors recorded a relative frequency of 47% in their analysis of 381 internet based discussion groups involving, by their own admission, "conservatively", 5000 individuals. ...
... Diaper fetish could perhaps also be tangentially related to the frequent erotic fascination with urine soaked underwear as reported in recent studies. 15,16 Our depressed, suicidal, and schizotypal lady is endowed with a vivid and elaborate imagination. Her withdrawal into daydreams was presumably an adaptive protective mechanism during her childhood while being treated harshly by those around her. Perhaps her fantasies about diapers and pacifiers symbolically express her need to be protected, mothered, and nurtured. ...
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A patient in her 20s was referred to us for psychological assessment due to her depression and suicide attempts. She mentioned being anorgasmic except when diapered and emphasized her erotic preference for diapers. Her childhood included maternal deprivation in an impecunious family headed by an irritable physically disabled father on social assistance. Given the maternal deprivation in childhood, her erotic fixation on diapers parallels the emotional attachment to diapers observed by Harlow in mother deprived infant monkeys. Etiological hypotheses should also include the paradigm of avoidance learning from theories of behavior therapy. Our patient does not wish to change her sexual preference: in such cases, fetishism is not considered as an illness by DSM5. However, she needs to be treated for pathological levels of depression with suicidal ideation and low self-esteem.
... Finally, online pornography lends itself very efficiently to frequency studies [28,29]. Although there is no certainty about gender and psychopathological conditions at the base of network access, online porn allows to evaluate a very large population, classifying subjects according to specific and well-defined sexual interests, from the most trivial to the rarest (Table 15.1), so as to build tables of frequency otherwise not compiled. ...
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Among behavioral addictions, problematic Internet use and online pornography consumption are often cited as possible risk factors for sexual dysfunction, often with no definite boundary between the two phenomena. Online users are attracted to Internet pornography because of its anonymity, affordability, and accessibility, and in many cases its usage could lead users through a cybersex addiction: in these cases, users are more likely to forget the “evolutionary” role of sex, finding more excitement in self-selected sexually explicit material than in intercourse.
... B. Füße und damit in Zusammenhang stehende Objekte, wie z. B. Strümpfe oder Schuhe (Scorolli et al. 2007). Von dieser Störung abzugrenzen ist die transvestitische Störung. ...
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Als Paraphilien werden von der Norm abweichende, intensive sexuelle Neigungen oder Verhaltensweisen bezeichnet. Um von einer paraphilen Störung zu sprechen, müssen diese Neigungen zu Leid, Beeinträchtigungen oder Schaden bei anderen Personen führen. Sexualstraftaten werden sowohl von Personen mit als auch ohne paraphile Störungen verübt. Paraphile Störungsbilder sollten in einer ausführlichen Sexualanamnese abgeklärt werden. Eine Kombination aus biologischen, lerngeschichtlichen und sozialen Faktoren wird ursächlich für die Entwicklung von paraphilen Störungen, aber auch als Voraussetzung für sexuelle Gewalttaten, angenommen. Evaluierte Behandlungsprogramme bestehen insbesondere für den forensischen Bereich, weniger für paraphile Personen, die sich eigeninitiativ um Behandlung bemühen, ohne straffällig geworden zu sein. Aktuelle Metaanalysen stimmen vorsichtig positiv: Durch integrative Behandlungsprogramme können die Rückfallzahlen von Sexualstraftätern gesenkt werden.
... Podophilia is reported to be the most prevalent form of sexual fetishism for otherwise non-sexual objects or body parts (Scorolli et al., 2007), yet an animator cannot presume, in an open non-sexuality-specific environment such as Sina Weibo, that such an image will hold unanimous appeal to anyone who may read the story, particularly given its juxtaposition with the textual subject matter. In this case, I would argue that situated meaning of the placement of such imagery alongside the microfiction arises from an act of sexual self-expression and defiance, with the image constituting a manifestation of animators' own sexual interests and arousals. ...
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This project undertakes an in-depth, qualitative investigation into queer-themed ‘Boys Love’ microfiction within the realm of Chinese cyberspace, with the aim of further understanding both the features of the genre and the motivation for production and consumption among its primarily heterosexual female user-base. Expanding upon previous studies, which have focused primarily on investigation into the consumer groups of such fiction, this project seeks to establish links between the linguistic/discursive features of queer Chinese-language microfiction and observable social phenomena or cultural frameworks. Using and developing Gee’s tools of inquiry (2014) for textual analysis, this project explores the situated meanings, figured worlds and Discourses embodied in very short fictional stories representing male same-sex intimacies and queer sexualities. In doing so, I proposes a development of Johnson’s circuits of culture model (1986), in which I hypothesize that, confronted with heteronormative social structures—constructed along a gender binary and framed through patriarchal familial and social relationships—China’s cyberspace has offered a new platform for marginalized individuals (both queer-identified and those heterosexual consumers who enjoy fantasizing about same-sex intimacies) to engage, navigate and negotiate space to tell their stories. In doing so, they find opportunities to renegotiate citizenship based on sexual identity. Therefore, this study creates a ‘circuit of queer cyberculture’ framework through which to analyse queer-themed microfiction. This framework proposes that, through an emerging form of ‘cultural self-determination’ rooted in sexual and gender identity and the declaration and negotiation of sexual citizenship, netizens who experience social marginalization in the real world through their attraction to representation of queer lives begin to indigenize circuits of popular culture observable in mainstream media platforms by creating and distributing their own works of art and fiction online. Through a combination of Critical Discourse Analysis of 40 selected works of microfiction and applied thematic analysis of 39 interviews conducted with producers and consumers of the genre in Mainland China, this project therefore assesses the development of the Boys’ Love genre into a microfiction format, distributed via a publicly visible online platform. Investigation of the defining characteristics of the genre, in combination with data gathered from interviews, allows this project to demonstrate how this new empirical data can expand our global and local knowledge of theoretical and conceptual debates regarding identity, gender, representation, queer sexualities, sexual citizenship and circuits of culture.
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Most literature on sexual fetishes focuses on maldevelopment, abnormality, and stigma. Benefits and psychosocial aspects of practicing fetishes are seldom documented. We aimed to explore the sensations, perceptions, and socioemotional experiences involved in practicing fetishes. We recruited 316 participants from various websites and social media platforms geared specifically for people with fetishes. Participants completed our online anonymous questionnaire which yielded both quantitative and qualitative data. When asked what they wanted the world to know about their fetish, content analysis showed that those who engage in fetishes gave responses that fell into the categories of what fetishes are not, what fetishes are, about the practice itself, and about negative aspects. Participants had typical Satisfaction with Life scores. Participants had lower than typical Mate Value Scale scores (a gauge of one’s own perceived desirability) with some exception. Results suggest generally positive experiences and attitudes among those who practice fetishes and support the notion that fetishes are not inherently pathological.
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Paraphilien bezeichnen sexuelle Neigungen, die deutlich von der Norm abweichen. Nach DSM-5 gibt es die voyeuristische, exhibitionistische, frotteuristische, sexuell masochistische, sexuell sadistische, pädophile, transvestitische und fetischistische Störung.
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Female sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent and often a common response to the reproductive changes that occur throughout a woman's life. Sexual problems and associated distress are often seen in gynaecology clinics. Therefore an understanding of the normal female sexual response cycle, the classification of sexual dysfunction, the management of these disorders and their presentation in consultations is important for all health professionals. Basic knowledge of physical, hormonal and psychological treatments can be utilized in an obstetric and gynaecological setting.
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We explore the extent to which learning and memory mechanisms can explain variation in facial attractiveness. We suggest that two general mechanisms are in operation, and work together in determining attractiveness. Both can be understood in terms of general principles of learning, memory and generalization. One mechanism is related to the problem of many different stimuli requiring the same response. For instance, faces of babies are all different but all should be recognized as babies. The way the nervous system solves this problem leads to preference for average faces. The second mechanism favors extremes. For example, the discrimination task of telling female and male faces apart may result in extreme male or female faces appearing more attractive (i.e. supernormality, peak-shift, overgeneralization or receiver bias). Adding more aspects to the face discrimination task (e.g. telling individuals of different age apart) may account for the full range of variations in attractiveness. We also introduce an ontogenetic model inspired by ethological theories of imprinting. This model can potentially explain why cultural innovations such as spectacles, clothing and haircuts influence attractiveness. Our conclusion is that we do not need to invoke evolutionary theories linking genetic quality with appearance to explain observed patterns of attractiveness.
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This first English edition of "Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie" has been translated by James Strachey. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Conflict of Interest. Dr. Rowland is a part-time consultant for ALZA Corporation. Drs. Bull, Jamieson and Ho are employees of the ALZA Corporation. Background. Although premature ejaculation (PE) is a common male sexual dysfunction, its relevant parameters have not been adequately studied in large community-based samples. Objective. To examine the diagnostic utility of two self-report questions based on the DSM-IV-TR definition of PE and to investigate the relationship between self-identified PE, sexual functioning, and sexual satisfaction in men. Methods. An Internet survey of general health and aspects of sexual functioning and satisfaction was conducted in 2056 males. Subjects were classified as having “probable” or “possible” PE, or as “non-PE” by survey responses. Results. A total of 1158 men met the selection criteria (sexually active in a stable heterosexual relationship), and 189 (16.3%) were classified as having probable PE by reporting they ejaculated before they wished and indicating it was “very much” or “somewhat” a problem. Another 188 (16.2%) men reported ejaculating before they wished but rated their distress lower and were classified as having possible PE. Compared to non-PE men, those with probable and possible PE reported significantly worse sexual functioning in 6 of 8 study measures. Concern about partner satisfaction was high in all groups. The importance of ejaculatory control and the ability to have intercourse for the desired time was significantly higher in men with PE as compared to non-PE men (P < 0.01). Conclusions. PE was a common problem, was characterized by a lack of ejaculatory control, and was associated with significant effects on sexual functioning and satisfaction. Additional research on the sensitivity and specificity of these self-report questions should be pursued.
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This article provides an overview as to the definition and history of fetishes. The paper reviews early and recent research regarding fetishes and explores behaviors often associated with fetishes. In addition, various types of fetishes are examined, including a number of fetishes that are unique to people with disabilities. Finally, coming from a psychoanalytical perspective, a number of treatment approaches are reviewed and discussed.