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  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

The term voyeurism is etymologically derived from the French word voir, which ultimately comes from the Latin word videre, both meaning “to see.” Voyeurism describes in general the behavior of a voyeur or a voyeuse, suggesting a secret spectator who experiences satisfaction in the sexual activity of others. To look at or to observe other persons—secretly or openly—can be a way to generate one's own identity by reflection, by contrast or stimulated by the wish for visual participation.

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