Health & Fitness

Health & Fitness

Exhibitionism: A disorder of exposing genitals in public


Nov 26, 2016

Ever happened to you that someone exposed his genitals to you in public? While you cringe in disgust, the man stands uninhibited, not because he is just another pervert but because he is suffering from a serious psychological disorder called Exhibitionism.

Exhibitionism is something which is discussed every now and then, as a serious psychiatric disorder..

What is it?

Exhibitionism is an act of exposing genitals or sexual organs in public or to a stranger. The practice is either defined as a desire or sometimes a compulsion to expose genitals for amusement or for sexual satisfaction, which shocks the bystander. This psychiatric sexual disorder falls under the category of paraphilias, which is an intense sexually arousing fantasy. However, it should be noted that when a person exposes himself/ herself only to his intimate partner, he is not considered as an exhibitionist.

Features of Exhibitionism

A person might masturbate or even fantasize about masturbating while exposing the genitals. Some of the key features of exhibitionism are:
There is no sexual contact desired
The sexual arousal which surprises or shocks the victim
Person has sexually arousing fantasies
He/ She is involved in behaviours like genital exposure to a stranger
Person who has this psychiatric disorder might cause distress and sometimes interpersonal difficulty for others in everyday life.

The main Contributors

It has been observed that the majority of exhibitionists are men. The studies on behavioural learnings states “a victim child or observer learns to imitate the adult and later receives positive reinforcement for the behaviour. When such children are deprived of normal social sexual contacts, they look for fulfillment through unacceptable means.”

Physiological models also give emphasis on the relationship of different hormones, behaviour and the central nervous system. Focus is given to the aggression in males. A few biological theories also claim that testosterone, the hormone that influences the sexual drive in both men and women, abnormally aggravates their sexual behaviour. The patients are treated with the medication that helps in lowering their testosterone levels.

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