Paraphilic Disorders: Lifespan Perspectives

To consider perspectives on paraphilias and paraphilic disorders over the lifespan, one must first have an understanding of what a paraphilia and a paraphilic disorder are, how the two are similar and different, and the controversies surrounding this diagnostic category. This entry begins with a brief review of these topics and then provides an overview on lifespan perspectives in that context.


Paraphilic disorders broadly include sexual acts or interests that deviate from what mainstream society considers normal and cause various types of impairments. However, as definitions of what is sexually atypical vary greatly across cultures and over time, there has been considerable debate as to what interests or acts should be included in this category of mental health disorders. The culturally bound nature of these conditions ...

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