Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders

Gender identity disorder is generally called transexuallism. Transvestism refers to the practice of obtaining sexual pleasure by dressing in the clothes of the opposite sex. Today the term cross-dressing is more commonly used because it does not allow for a mistake of transsexualism, which is a complete gender change from the original sex. Transvestism is a paraphilia for which the essential feature is intense sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies involving dressing in clothing of those of the opposite sex. It is extremely important to note that just because an individual is classified as a transvestite does not mean that they are necessarily homosexual. Extensive studies have been conducted to show that transvestites are not homosexual in many documented cases. Many psychiatric concepts have been used to try and explain why transvestism is prominent in certain individuals, such as the constitutional predisposition of unknown origin known as degeneration. Degeneration referred to an innate neurologic weakness that is transmitted with increased severity to future generations and produced deviations from the norm. Despite there being many theories on transvestism, there are no commonly accepted ideas because human sexual disorders can be extremely difficult to understand. In some cases, transvestism can become so prominent in an individual that they become transsexual. An individual who is transsexual usually begins with taking hormone injections and undergoes plastic surgeries in order to change their sex organs to the opposite sex. While transvestism is not widely accepted as a norm today, society has generally learned to accept the idea that some individuals are born with this sexual disorder.

Sexual sadism could as well be identified as paraphilia. Someone who delivers sexual sadism is called a sadist. The administered humiliation, pain and suffering could either be psychological or physical. The pain, humiliation and suffering may also cause injuries or death to the person receiving them. During a sadistic behavior, the person who is receiving the pain or humiliation may not be a willing partner. Though, sadists usually live their daily lives in agony and impairment because of the aggressive behaviors or cruel fantasies.

There are many assumptions to the cause of sexual sadism; some are branching from the psychoanalytic group. For example, the psychoanalysis method implied that childhood trauma such as sexual abuse or major childhood incidents can reveal itself in nonsensical behavior. Because of the test results finding by neuropsychological and neurological from sex offenders, some psychologists tend to believe that sexual sadism might be genetic or due to biological factors. Even though the desire for sexual sadism could begin during one’s infancy, the commencement of active sexual sadism normally take place throughout early adulthood. However, the real cause of sexual sadism is still unknown. Also, sadists are not easily diagnosed. Some are forced by family members, friends or court order to seek therapy, which often helps with the treatment of sexual sadism.

In addition, sexual masochism is the opposite of sexual sadism. The masochist feels excited when receiving humiliation, pain and suffering. The physical actions of a masochistic could involve several different activities such as: cutting, piercing, beating, blindfolding, electrical shock, being urinated or defecated on, forced to bark, verbally abused, and forced to cross-dress. One could be identified as a masochist after receiving these symptoms for at least six months; however, it is known that men are found to be more sexual masochists than women. The cause for sexual masochism is also unknown. Based on learning theory, sexual masochists were initiated because of suppression from unsuitable sexual fantasies. In today’s society, most of the sexual fantasies are derived from the conscious and unconscious state of mind. Some psychologists believe that masochists enjoy receiving the pain and humiliation in order to feel empowered.

Very few sadomasochism search for help with a therapist or a social worker. Sadomasochism that tends not to seek help often gets into trouble due to sexual variations. The level of tensions by society increases toward people with bizarre sexual preferences. Although, the cause of sadomasochism is unknown, the disorder can be treated. Similar to other types of paraphilia, treatment is mainly dependent on the person’s desire and willingness to change. Numerous forms of therapy such as: psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, aversion and positive behavioral therapy approaches, reality therapy, medications, hormonal treatment, reconditioning and restructuring techniques have been found effective in treating sadomasochism. An additional method that can be used to treat sadomasochism is social skills training. Social skills training is one of a kind that needs to develop within healthy family relations; however, it could be that some people who developed sadistic and masochistic behavior may perhaps in part, because they do not know how to form healthy relationships, whether sexual or nonsexual, with other people. Even though, social skill training is not a substitute for medications or psychotherapy for sadistic and masochistic, but it sure can be useful as an adjunctive treatment.

In comparison, a sadist is one who enjoys giving pain during sexual intercourse while a masochist enjoys receiving the pain giving by the sadist also known as sadomasochism. According to several psychologists, including Sigmund Freud, most sadomasochism is upper or middle class men and women who are highly educated and hold professional jobs. The necessary element is not the pain or repression itself, instead it is the facts that the sadist most of the time has more power or controlled over the masochist.

Another known sexual disorder is forced sexual behavior, which is generally broken down into three different areas: rape, sexual abuse of children, and sexual harassment. Rape is generally defined as the act of forcing sexual activity on an unwilling person. Over the past few decades rape has become increasingly prominent in the United States, so much so that a reported one in six women have been raped. Rapists generally do not have a distinct profile, but several theories exist as to some of the reasons why men choose to rape women. Others believe in a cycle of abuse in which men that were abused as children are more likely to engage in acts of sexual misconduct such as rape. This theory is especially prevalent when talking about the sexual abuse of children, which includes incest, child molestation, and pedophilia. Incest refers to sexual relations between relatives. Incest is prevalent in many cases where there has been a cycle of abuse and a parent sexually abuses their own child. Child molestation refers to the sexual behavior with a child without force or direct threat of force. This form of forced sexual behavior is still considered forced because a child can’t legally consent to the act. This form of forced sexual behavior can be equally as damaging to a child simply from the mental distress it puts the child through. Pedophilia refers to the persistent sexual interest in children who have not reached puberty. Most pedophiles are men while the victims are young females, but there are still plenty of reported cases where the victim is a male and the pedophile is a female. Many pedophiles also commit the other acts of forced sexual abuse and continue the acts throughout their lifetime. Sexual harassment is the final act of forced sexual behavior that is included in this discussion. Sexual harassment refers to the unwanted sexual advances, comments, or any other form of coercive sexual behavior by others. Sexual harassment is so prevalent in the United States today, especially in the workplace, that most jobs promote sexual harassment awareness within the first week of being hired. Just because an individual has not committed the actual act of touching another person does not mean that it can’t be equally as damaging.

In today’s lifecycle, people have different ways of expressing their desires as a voyeur or exhibitionist. In most cases, they are harmless. Voyeurism and exhibitionism are two sexual activities, but the two are both engaged with different meanings. Both voyeurism and exhibitionism are considered paraphilia. Voyeurism is when one individual watches the other individual undress his or her clothes during a sexual activity, such as taking a shower or getting undressed for bed. The term voyeur comes from the French, and means “one who looks”. Men are the main the suspects to be called a voyeur. A person is considered a voyeur when he or she is caught sneaking to watch a person undress, and he or she gets aroused by watching the person take his or her clothes off. Most victims are complete strangers to the voyeur. When a person is listening to a sexual conversation over the telephone, he or she is performing a type of voyeurism also. A stranger may never know that he or she is being watched by a voyeur. Women can be caught being a voyeur throughout life too. Voyeurs are in the dark people. They rather stay hidden, and never be seen because of the embarrassment, but they love to watch a stranger take off his or her clothes. Most men who struggle to fulfill their own sex life, are the main ones diagnosed as a voyeur. A voyeur must want to better his or her behavior in order to let go of the bad habit.

A person could have multiple types of fetishism going in his or her life. Amputee, breast, sexual, foot, etc. are all different types of fetishism. When a person has a sexual fetishism, this act can be very dangerous and scary to the innocent bystander. Fetishism is a disorder that is characterized when there is a pathological assignment of sexual fixation. Fetishism can be looked at as harassment by many different people. Harassments can happen at any time, place and by any person. Fetishism is found primarily in heterosexual men. The male gender outnumbers the female gender when it comes to voyeurism, exhibitionism, and fetishism. The male gender is always trying to find a quick way to get aroused. Anyone can be a victim when it comes to voyeurism and exhibitionism. People still do not understand the actions of either behavior. Although voyeurs and exhibitionist know that they are risking their life with their actions; however, they still feel like they cannot control their behavior. They rather get in trouble for their actions, rather than seek help.

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