Gavin, Helen and Bent, Jacqi (2010) Sexual deviancy and the sex police. An examination of the religious, cultural and psycholegal antecedents of perceived perversion. In: Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Psychological, Legal and Cultural Examinations of Sex and Sexuality. Critical Issues . Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, pp. 3-12. ISBN 978-1-84888-031-3

The perception of what is sexually perverted shifts dependent on who is talking about it. Even the term “perversion” is controversial. Psychologists generally refer to non-traditional sexual behaviour as sexual deviation or, in cases where the specific object of arousal is unusual, as paraphilia. There are a number of clinically recognised disorders of sexual or paraphiliac function: fetishism and transvestic fetishism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, chronophilias, frotteurism, sadomasochism, and “others not otherwise specified” (including scatologia, necrophilia, partialism, zoophilia, coprophilia, klismaphilia and urophilia). However, interesting absences from this list are erotophonophilia, in which sexual arousal can only be achieved by the act of murder its corollary, autassassinophilia. This paper discusses the journey that our sexual attitudes have made through the history of religion and medicine, the laws surrounding sex and their development from religious and cultural taboos into prohibitions of illegal sexual behaviour, then draws on those arguments to make a comparison between “victim-less” and “victim-rich” sexual crimes.

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