Theoretical Perspective on Paraphilias

Post your response to the following: Summarize the theoretical perspective on paraphilias assigned by your instructor. How would this theoretical perspective approach possible treatment of paraphilias?

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It appears that the psychoanalytic perspective of paraphilias centers around the castration anxiety associated with the Oedipus complex. During the phallic phase of Freud’s theory of psychosexual development, roughly from ages 3 to 5, a male child begins to see the father as a rival for the mother’s affection (Rathus, Nevid, & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). Because of this perceived rivalry, the male child fears castration at the hands of the father. According to Freudian psychology sexually abnormal activities, such as sadism or exhibitionism, are a direct result of latent unresolved issues from the Oedipus complex. For instance, exhibitionism might be necessary for the exhibitionist in order to confirm subconsciously that they still have a penis, thereby relieving the latent fear of castration temporarily.

Psychoanalytical treatment of paraphilias revolves around the resolution of the Oedipus complex and subsequent release from the fear of castration. This resolution could be attained through therapy and the bringing of the unconscious struggle into consciousness. Once the latent tension has been brought into the consciousness the adult mind can then deal with the actual problem rather than just the symptoms.

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Rathus, S.A., Nevid, J.S., and Fichner-Rathus, L. (2005). Human sexuality in a world of diversity. (6th ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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