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Sexual Disorders and Paraphilic Interests, Male: Fetishism

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Encyclopedia of Sexual Psychology and Behavior
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Fetichism; Fetishistic Disorder; Fetishists; Fetish; Paraphilia; Paraphilic Disorder


Fetishism refers to persistent or intense sexual arousal via the use of nonliving objects or body parts that are not typically considered erotic that manifests as sexual fantasies, urges, and/or behavior. An individual who engages in fetishistic sexual behavior is known as a fetishist.

History of Fetishism

The term fetishism was adapted from anthropological works, where “fetish” referred to a charm or object that was believed to contain magical or spiritual powers. Historically, these “fetishes” were revered by their people, much like how individuals with fetishism place great importance on the objects that arouse them. It was Alfred Binet in 1887 who first adapted “fetish” from an anthropological context to a psychological context by proposing that fetishism involved atypical sexual attraction to certain objects.

As time progressed, fetishism became more entrenched in the medical...

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Correspondence to Caitlin E. Krause .

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Krause, C.E. (2023). Sexual Disorders and Paraphilic Interests, Male: Fetishism. In: Shackelford, T.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sexual Psychology and Behavior. Springer, Cham.

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