Sexual Perversion

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Related to Sexual Perversion: paraphilia
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sexual Perversion


a pathological deviation in sexual desire or in its satisfaction.

Perverted sexual desire may be directed toward a wrong entity, including oneself (autoerotism), individuals of the same sex (homosexuality, both male—including pederasty—and female—lesbianism), minors (pedophilia), blood relatives (incest), animals (zoophilia, bestiality), and dead bodies (necrophilia). Sexual perversion may also be manifested by the desire to wear clothing of the opposite sex (transvestism), to view sexual intercourse or exposed sexual organs (voyeurism), or to expose oneself to persons of the opposite sex (exhibitionism). Sexual perversion may involve a desire for objects—for example, a male may desire a female braid, handkerchief, or slipper—that stimulate the individual sexually (fetishism). In other forms of sexual perversion, sexual satisfaction is achieved only by treating one’s partner violently (sadism) or, conversely, by suffering pain (masochism). Sexual perversions can sometimes occur along with a normal sex life. Sexual perversions should be distinguished from sexual deviations, which are not pathological departures from generally accepted forms of sexual behavior, for example, most cases of masturbation.

Sexual perversions are often situationally caused obsessions whose mechanism of origin is the formation of a conditioned response when sexual excitement coincides with sexually indifferent stimulation (for example, in fetishism, exhibitionism, sadism, or masochism). Early sexual excitability and tendency to form inert conditioned responses are contributing factors to such a perversion. Some cases of male and female homosexuality and of transvestism are ascribed by some to congenital pathology resulting from hereditary causes or to disorders of sexual differentiation of the fetus in the intrauterine period. Sexual perversions may also be caused by certain neural and mental disorders (for example, encephalitis, brain damage, or schizophrenia) and by endocrine and other disorders.

The treatment of sexual perversions depends on the causes. Psychotherapy, hormonal preparations, and neuroleptic agents are used. Proper sex education and a continuous campaign against perverting influences are important for preventing sexual perversions.


Krafft-Ebing, R. Polovaia psikhopatiia. St. Petersburg, 1909. (Translated from German.)
Popov, E. A. “O klassifikatsii polovykh izvrashchenii.” In Problemy psikhiatrii i psikhopatologii. Moscow, 1935.
Sviadoshch, A. M. Zhenskaia seksopatologiia. Moscow, 1974.
Sex Offenders. New York, 1965.
Marmor, J., ed. Sexual Inversion. New York, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Sexual Perversion," American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (2): 245-258.
Why has little progress been made in resolving the debate about the concept of sexual perversion? This paper suggests that the stalemate is due to misunderstandings and poor methodology.
People are starting to look at us as people instead of as a sexual perversion; isn't that what we are striving for?
The Canada that Trudeau and the Liberals have created is hardly a pernicious dictatorship, but it is a nation that has encouraged and enshrined sexual perversion, abortion, enormously high taxation, government intrusion, communal family care and knee-jerk anti-Americanism.
Swyer had been warned he faced jail and Judge Michael Cartlidge said it appeared he had a "sexual perversion".
Future illegal material will include the depiction of serious sexual violence, and other forms of sexual perversion.
Afterwards Judge Michael Cartlidge [correct] told Swyer to "prepare himself for custody" and said it appeared he had a "sexual perversion for contemplating films of ladies urinating."
Broome includes a very incisive chapter on infanticide, cannibalism and sexual perversion and finds that, yes, the English practised all three in London and the colonies.
'It can be argued', she says, 'that necrophilia is as much an aesthetic, a mode of representation, as it is a sexual perversion' (p.
(2) For whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries, or hold frenzied revels with strange customs, (24) they no longer keep either their lives or their marriages pure, but they either treacherously kill one another, or grieve one another by adultery, (25) and all is a raging riot of blood and murder, theft and deceit, corruption, faithlessness, tumult, perjury, (26) confusion over what is good, forgetfulness of favors, defiling of souls, sexual perversion [in his Anchor Bible commentary, David Winston translates this phrase "interchange of sex roles"], disorder in marriages, adultery, and debauchery.
Among my subjects: James Schuyler's A Few Days, John Ashbery's April Galleons, Sylvere Lotringer's Overexposed: Treating Sexual Perversion in America.