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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Paraphilia (in Greek para παρά = besides and -philia φιλία = friendship)—in psychology and sexology, is a term that describes a family of persistent, intense fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving sexual arousal to nonhuman objects, pain or humiliation experienced by oneself or one's partner, or children or other nonconsenting individuals. Paraphilias may interfere with the capacity for reciprocal affectionate sexual activity. Paraphilia is also used to imply non-mainstream sexual practices without necessarily implying dysfunction or deviance (see Clinical warnings). Also, it may describe sexual feelings toward otherwise non-sexual objects.

Controversy over the term

The definition of various sexual practices as paraphilias has been met with opposition. Advocates for changing these definitions stress that, aside from "paraphilias" with a criminal element, there is nothing inherently pathological about these practices; they are undeserving of the stigmatism associated with being "singled out" as such. Those who profess such a view hope that, much as with the removal of homosexuality from the DSM (see homosexuality and psychology), future psychiatric definitions will not include most of these practices.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Paraphilia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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