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Paraphilic Disorders: Diagnosis

The term paraphilia is used to describe individuals with “abnormal” sexual interests. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), paraphilias and paraphilic disorders are distinctly classified to highlight the difference between unconventional sexual interests and behaviors from those that are a clinical concern. In other words, individuals with a paraphilia do not necessarily have a paraphilic disorder. Paraphilic disorders are a clinical concern, because they involve personal distress, harm others, and/or are nonconsensual. The DSM-5 further divides paraphilic disorders into two types: (1) those that are simply unconventional and (2) those associated with criminal acts. According to the DSM-5, to meet the diagnostic criteria for a paraphilic disorder associated with a criminal act, the individual must (a) have persistent ...

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