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Victims' Symptom : glossary:exhibitionism
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Exhibitionism is one aspect of sexual behaviour for some persons, but others have this way of sexual behaviour simultaneously with sexual activities within their longterm relationships (although their urges become more prominent if any kind of interpersonal conflicts appear). Excitement arises if the person that witnesses such behaviour seems shocked, scared or under impression. Definition of exhibitionism is an “impulsive activity of displaying genitals in order to achieve sexual pleasure“. Genital exhibitionism occurs in mature men. It is connected with showing off in public places, in front of young or older women. Large numbers of pre-adolescent children are engaged in “mutual genital games“. Exhibitionsim is a complex defense mechanism that leads to deviant personalty traits. Freud explains exhibitionism in the view of the “castration complex“ because showing off encourages the person's belief of “owning the penis“; and also through the agression – because showing off scares other people ili through symbolism of magical gesture, when person displays what he/she wants to see. Pure demonstration is not sufficient for achievement of orgasm. Exhibitionists have a strong sense of guilt, but mostly they are impotent and shy persons.



  • Morrison J. DSM-IV Made Easy. New York, The Guilford Press, 1995:474.
  • The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders: clinical descriptions and diagnostic guidelines. Geneva: WHO, 1992.
  • Laplanche J, Pontalis JB. Rječnik psihoanalize. Naprijed, 1992.

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