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Paraphilic Disorders: Cultural Factors

Broadly speaking, paraphilia can be viewed as a condition characterized by intense and ongoing atypical sexual interests and behaviors. Clinical definitions often add that paraphilia involves any sexual interests and behaviors other than genital stimulation with a consenting adult human partner. Before discussing the role of culture in defining paraphilic interests and behaviors, it is necessary to discuss what is meant by “culture.” According to one source, there are at least 160 definitions of culture, with little consensus as to the single best definition. For the purposes of this entry, culture is defined as an array of shared beliefs, attitudes, values, traditions, and standards that help determine behaviors in a group of individuals. Thus, culture distinguishes one group of people from other groups of people. ...

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