Paraphilic Disorders: Gender and Sex Differences

Although the terms gender and sex are sometime used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings when discussing psychological constructs, with gender referring to social constructions regarding men and women and sex referring to biological sex. This entry focuses on gender differences in paraphilic (i.e., atypical or nonnormative) sexual interests and behaviors, of which relatively little is known due to the lack of scientific inquiry on the topic. The only definitive statement that can be made is that since paraphilia was first introduced as a diagnostic category in taxonomies of mental health disorders, more men than women have been diagnosed with paraphilias. Furthermore, with the possible exception of masochism (i.e., preoccupation with being humiliated or forced to suffer as a means of achieving sexual satisfaction), most sources ...

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