Paraphilias as a diagnostic category (a review of foreign studies)



Difficulties related to distinction of sexual norm and pathology affect the possibility of a precise and competent definition of the paraphilia category. The modern notion of paraphilia still bears a moral evaluation, implicating an existence of a proper, true love/friendship. However, attempts to define the term “paraphilia” so that it emphasises the medical aspects of the deviant sexual attraction, are till now unfortunate. The contribution presents a review of discussions carried out by modern foreign authors on the problem of a more precise definition of the paraphilia category; it shows the difficulties arising in the process of solving the stated problem. It examines the social perception of sexual violence, disputes on distinction between pedophilia and ephebophilia, possibility of zoosexual orientation, connection between paraphilias and other disorders, and disputes on definion of the paraphilia category for new revisions of classifications of diseases.

General Information

Keywords: paraphilias, sexual pathology, sexual violence, international classification of diseases.

Journal rubric: Forensic and Clinical Psychology in Legal Context

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Demidova L.Y. Paraphilias as a diagnostic category (a review of foreign studies) [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologiya i pravo = Psychology and Law, 2011. Vol. 1, no. 4 (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Liubov Y. Demidova, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory of Forensic Sexology, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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