Chapter_13_Summary_Outline

Chapter_13_Summary_Outline - Chapter 13 Overview/Summary...

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Chapter 13 Overview/Summary Defining boundaries between normality and psychopathology in the area of variant sexuality is very difficult, in part because sociocultural influences on what have been viewed as normal or aberrant sexual practices abound. Degeneracy theory and abstinence theory were very influential for long periods of time in the United States and many other Western cultures, and led to very conservative views on heterosexual sexuality. In contrast to Western culture, in the Sambia tribe in Melanesia, homosexuality is practiced by all adolescent males in the context of male sexual initiation rites; they later transition to heterosexuality in young adulthood. Until rather recently, in many Western cultures homosexuality was viewed as either criminal behavior or as a form of mental illness. However, since 1974, homosexuality has been considered by mental health professionals to be a normal sexual variant. Sexual deviations in the form of paraphilias involve persistent and recurrent patterns of sexual behavior and arousal, lasting at least six months, in which unusual objects, rituals, or situations are required for full sexual satisfaction. They almost always occur in males. The paraphilias include (1) fetishes, (2) transvestic fetishism, (3) voyeurism, (4) exhibitionism, (5) sadism, (6) masochism, and (7) pedophilia. Gender identity disorders occur in children and adults. Childhood gender identity disorder occurs in children who have cross-gender identification and gender dysphoria. Most boys who have this disorder grow up to have a homosexual orientation; a few become transsexuals. Prospective studies of girls who have this disorder suggest that perhaps half of women develop a homosexual orientation and the other half may desire sex reassignment surgery. Transsexualism is a very rare disorder in which the person believes that he or she is trapped in the body of the wrong sex. It is now recognized that there are two distinct types of transsexuals: homosexual transsexuals and autogynephilic transsexuals, each with different characteristics and developmental antecedents. The only known effective treatment for transsexuals is a sex-change operation. Although its use remains highly controversial, it does appear to have fairly high success rates when the people are carefully diagnosed and participate in a lengthy readjustment program There are three overlapping categories of sexual abuse: pedophilia, incest, and rape. All three kinds of abuse occur at alarming rates today. Controversies about the accuracy of children’s testimony and about the accuracy of recovered memories of sexual abuse that may often occur in psychotherapy have recently arisen. Traditionally, sexual abuse has been seen as leading to both serious short-term and
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Chapter_13_Summary_Outline - Chapter 13 Overview/Summary...

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