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Conceptualization, History, and Future of the Paraphilias

7 May 2020

Publication date
07 May 2020

Original abstract

There is no accepted definition of the term paraphilia despite its being listed as an essential feature of a class of mental disorders known as the paraphilic disorders. The origin of the term, history of its inclusion as a diagnosis, and logical flaws inherent in the various definitions are discussed in this review. We examine the basis for pathologizing individuals with paraphilias, consider what paraphilias can tell us about how humans develop their sexual interests, and question the usefulness of dividing sexual interests into paraphilias and normophilias. The construct of the paraphilias appears to be poorly conceived and has outlived its usefulness.



Moser, C. & Kleinplatz, P. (2020). Conceptualization, History, and Future of the Paraphilias. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 16, p. 379-399. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-050718-095548

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paraphilia, DSM, ICD, sexual interest, normophilia


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