- One of several complex psychiatric disorders that are manifested as deviant sexual behavior. For example, in men the most common forms are pedophilia (sexual behavior or attraction toward children) and exhibitionism (exposing one’s body in public setting). Other paraphilias include compulsive sexual behavior (nymphomania and priapism), sadism, masochism, fetishism, bestiality, and necrophilia. Treatment may include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, behavior modification, antidepressant medications, and medications that alter hormone production, particularly of testosterone. However, the cause and treatment of paraphilias are poorly understood, and treatment is rarely effective. In addition, many professionals prefer not to pathologize sexual behavior that involves only willing adults, even if the behavior might be deemed deviant in mainstream society. In cases where the behavior is potentially criminal, as in pedophilia, treatment is usually offered within the penal system.
* * *1. A condition, in either men or women, of compulsive responsivity and obligatory dependence on an unusual or personally or socially unacceptable external stimulus or internal fantasy for sexual arousal or orgasm. 2. In legal parlance, a perversion or deviancy. [para- + G. philos, fond]
* * *para·phil·ia -'fil-ē-ə n a pattern of recurring sexually arousing mental imagery or behavior that involves unusual and esp. socially unacceptable sexual practices (as sadism, masochism, fetishism, or pedophilia)
* * *para·phil·ia (par″ə-filґe-ə) [para- + -philia] [DSM-IV] a psychosexual disorder characterized by recurrent intense sexual urges, by sexually arousing fantasies, or by behavior involving use of a nonhuman object, the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one's partner, or children or other nonconsenting partners; included are exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, pedophilia, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, transvestic fetishism, and voyeurism.
Medical dictionary. 2011.