A young woman flashing her breasts in Australia
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Exhibitionism, colloquially referred to flashing, is behavior by a person that involves the exposure of private parts of their body to another person in a situation when they would not normally be exposed, with a tendency toward an extravagant. The act may be at least partially sexual or intended to attract the attention of another. When the term is used to refer to the psychological compulsion for such exposure, it may be called apodysophilia or Lady Godiva syndrome. Public exhibitionism by women has been mentioned by historians since classical times, often in the context of the women's shaming groups of men into committing, or inciting them to commit, some public action.
 Term's history
Exhibitionism as a disorder was first described in a scientific journal in 1877 by a French physician and psychiatrist Charles Lasègue (1809–1883).
 Types of exposure
There are various types of behavior which are classified as exhibitionism. These include:
Mooning is the display of bare buttocks by the pulling-down of trousers and underwear. There tends to be a gendered double standard here: with males, the act is most often done for the sake of humor, disparagement, and/or mockery than for sexual excitement, whereas with females, the reverse tends to be true, and sexual arousal (or at least sexual attention) of those mooned is the intent.
- Streaking is the act of taking off one's clothes and running nude through a public place.
Some researchers have claimed that telephone scatalogia is a variant of exhibitionism, even though it has no in-person physical connotations.
 Psychological aspects
Exhibitionism as a disorder was first described in a scientific journal in 1877 by a French physician and psychiatrist Charles Lasègue (1809–1883). Typically, the part(s) of the body exposed when referring to "flashing" are bare female breasts and/or buttocks. In theory, however, flashing and exhibitionism can also involve the genitalia or buttocks of either gender. A "male flasher" stands in stark comparison to this definition as the latter usually refers to a male indecently exposing his penis to an unwilling observer.
A research team asked a sample of 185 exhibitionists, “How would you have preferred a person to react if you were to expose your privates to him or her?” The most common response was “Would want to have sexual intercourse” (35.1%), followed by “No reaction necessary at all” (19.5%), “To show their privates also” (15.1%), “Admiration” (14.1%), and “Any reaction” (11.9%). Only very few exhibitionists chose “Anger and disgust” (3.8%) or “Fear” (0.5%).
Exhibitionism is considered a psychological disorder if it interferes with the quality of life or normal functioning capacity of the individual. Exhibitionism is referred to in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th Edition (class 302.4). Many psychiatric definitions of exhibitionism broadly define it as "sexual gratification, above and beyond the sexual act itself, that is achieved by risky public sexual activity and/or bodily exposure." Beyond bodily exposure, it can also include "engaging in sex where one may possibly be seen in the act, or caught in the act."
 See also
- ^ apodysophilia - Dictionary of sexual terms
- ^ Origin of the world
- ^ Lasègue C. Les Exhibitionistes. L'Union Médicale (Paris), series 3, vol. 23; 1877. Pages 709–714.
- ^ Hirschfeld, M. (1938). *Sexual anomalies and perversions: Physical and psychological development, diagnosis and treatment (new and revised ed.). London: Encyclopaedic Press.
- ^ Nadler, R. P. (1968). Approach to psychodynamics of obscene telephone calls. New York State Journal of Medicine, 68, 521–526.
- ^ Aggrawal, Anil (2009). Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices. Boca Raton: CRC Press. ISBN 1420043080.
- ^ Freund, K., Watson, R., & Rienzo, D. (1988). The value of self-reports in the study of voyeurism and exhibitionism. Annals of Sex Research, 2, 243–262.
- ^ DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association 1994
- ^ American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, DC: Author.