Prevalence of Fetishes

Human sexuality is an interdisciplinary area where researchers from different fields such as medicine, biology, psychology, sociology and anthropology meet and, to some extent, compete to explain phenomena. Why aren’t we exposed to more cultural aspects of sex? Is sex the same in all cultures? Does our social setting influence it? And most importantly: What is normal sex? (If there is even such a thing)

For the first part of this research paper, it should be mentioned that after trying to find journals on this topic, not only were there very few, but, when seeking an explanation or a theoretical model for the subject I was surprised at how little information there is. Sex being such an important aspect of human behavior and having so little information led me to research more on why.  Limited sexual research is available due to the following: The private aspect of sexual behavior, Lack of a strong theoretical model, and lack of funding.

It is hard to gather data from large samples in the topic of rare sexual preferences and behaviors to date there is little theoretical understanding of why an object or body part unrelated to functional sexual activity attracts so much attention as in the fetishism culture.

It has been hypothesized that the selection of a fetish involves conditioning or learned behavior and requires a strong stimulus for it to register. Freud attributed a major role to early events, viewing fetishism as the adult consequence of the castration complex developed during childhood, whereby the fetish functions as a penis substitute.

One of the only theories that explain the correlation between sexual behaviors amongst cultures is the Social constructionist theory. This theory focuses on the power of culture, language, and knowledge. According to this theory we all interpret “reality” differently depending on our social position and cultural background.

In other words Ideas about lifestyle, freedom and individualism can affect changes in cultural and political attitudes toward the sexual, not necessarily because of a coherent sexuality politics or rights-based movement.

The experiment we chose for this paper studies the prevalence of sexual fetishes. “In this study, the word fetish was used simply as a convenient keyword to retrieve data about sexual preferences through the search interface of Yahoo! Groups. The aim was to survey sexual preferences and not clinical cases of Fetishism.”


Data was gathered from public access areas of the English-Language section of Yahoo! Groups. By registering with the Yahoo! Service anyone is entitled to create a discussion group on any topic provided no copyright material is posted or sexual/otherwise sensitive content is posted only to age-restricted sections of the site. Through the interface search there was a list of 2938 groups whose names or descriptions contained the word fetish.

Starting from the 2938 groups initially retrieved, groups that used non-sexual context, discussed Fetishes or sex generically and could not be categorized, message records were not available or who had no members were discarded. This left 381 groups who met all the inclusion criteria. The activity on these groups totaled over 4000 messages per month and included over 150,000 members.

These results were separated into areas. Three areas were developed which were: Fetish with body, objects and behaviors. Of these categories subcategories were developed. Subcategories include: A part or feature of the body, An object usually experienced in association with the body, An object not usually associated with the body, An event involving only inanimate objects, A persons own behavior, A behavior of other persons and A behavior or situation requiring an interaction with others.

Each group was assigned to one or more categories based on its name, accompanying description and message subjects/ content and was independently classified by two researchers. When Disagreements occurred, they were resolved by discussion.

Frequency was divided into three indices: The number of groups assigned to the category, The total number of members of groups assigned to the category, The total number of messages, per month of activity (exchanged in groups per category). These measures were analyzed both parametrically using the Crombach’s-z and non-parametrically using the Kendall’s-w. Significance was set at P<0.05 and a computerized program was used for data analysis.

Preference category

Group members

Relative frequency (%)

Body part/feature+social behavior 14 147 26
Own behavior+other’s behavior 9831 18
Object associated with body+external event 6544 12
Body part/feature+object associated with body 5252 10
Body part/feature+object not associated with body 4383 8
Social behavior+other’s behavior 2774 5
Body part/feature+other’s behavior 2249 4
Own behavior+object associated with body 1938 4
Body part/feature+own behavior 1734 3
Object associated with body+object not associated with body 1685 3
Other’s behavior+object associated with body 1276 2
Other’s behavior+object not associated with body 1199 2
Other’s behavior+external event 631 1
Social behavior+object associated with body 284 <1
Social behavior+object not associated with body 30 <1
Other combinations 0 0

Preferred body part or feature

Sexological classification (*)

Group members

Relative frequency (%)

Feet, toes Podophilia 44 722 47
Body fluids (blood, urine, etc.) Golden/brown showers, watersport, urophilia, scatophilia, lactaphilia, menophilia, mucophilia 8376 9
Body size (obesity, tall, short, etc.) Chubby chasers, nanophilia 8241 9
Hair Trichophilia 6707 7
Muscles Cratophilia (strength), sthenophilia (muscle) 5515 5
Body modifications (tattoes, pierceing, etc.) Tattoing, piercing, ringing, stigmatophilia 4102 4
Genitals Medophilia 3336 4
Belly or navel Alvinophilia 2861 3
Ethnicity Allotriorastry, miscegenation, xenophilia 2681 3
Breasts Mammaphilia, mammagynophilia, mastofact 2602 3
Legs, buttocks Crurofact, Pygophilia 1830 2
Mouth, lips, teeth Odontophilia 1697 2
Body hair Hirsutophilia, gynephilus- and pubephilia (pubic hair fetish), depilation 864 <1
Nails ‘Bed of Nails’ 669 <1
Nose Nasophilia, hygrophilia 316 <1
Ears / 91 <1
Neck / 88 <1
Body odor Mysophilia, osmophilia 82 <1

Preferred object

Group members

Relative frequency (%)

Objects worn on legs and buttocks (stockings, skirts, etc.) 27 490 33
Feetwear 26 739 32
Underwear 10 046 12
Whole-body wear (costumes, coats, etc.) 7424 9
Objects worn on trunk (jacket, waistcoat, etc.) 7226 9
Objects worn on head and neck (hats, necklaces, etc.) 2357 3
Stethoscopes 933 1
Wristwatches, bracelets, etc. 716 <1
Diapers 483 <1
Hearing aids 150 <1
Catheters 28 <1
Pace-makers 2 <1


The results showed that About %70 percent of groups were assigned to only one category. The majority of sexual preferences appear to involve parts or features of the body and objects usually associated with the body. There were no cases of preferences for events that Involve only inanimate objects or a person’s own behavior. Body parts and objects associated with the body appear most frequent, but behaviors that were preferred when performed either by one or by others are also common.


The database of knowledge in Fetishism is scarce. Although simply observational in nature, these data allow some speculations within an area in high need of research and clarification. The Internet is increasingly used for scientific research in sexology,because it allows to gather large samples even for particular behaviors or sexual symptoms and also it encourages people to freely express themselves,which in the present context may overcome some biases associated with traditional questionnaires on sexual behaviors.

The most commonly recognized shortcomings of Internet studies are possible sampling biases and deliberately inaccurate reporting. Sampling biases in Internet studies are often attributed to the higher socio-economical and educational status of Internet users. These, however, are no longer an elite in many countries, and it is estimated that 60% of USA citizens are Internet users. A potential bias of the study is that data have been gathered searching for the word ‘fetish’. Preferences and behaviors that are not commonly labeled ‘fetishism’ may be under-represented.

We chose this topic because we would like to specialize in the psychology of human sexuality. After exploring research to acquaint ourselves with the topic we realized not a lot of sexological research is available.

Works Cited

Wilson GD. An ethological approach to sexual deviation. In: Wilson GD (ed). Variant Sexuality: Research and Theory. Croom Helm: London, 1987, pp. 84–115.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). American Psychiatric Association: Arlington, VA, 2000.

Chalkley AJ, Powell GE. The clinical description of forty-eight cases of sexual fetishism. Br J Psychiatry 1983; 142: 292–295.

Relative prevalence of different fetishes International Journal of Impotence Research, Vol. aop, No. current., by C. Scorolli, S. Ghirlanda, M. Enquist, et al.


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LGBT identity formation

For every person, identity exploration and formation is a crucial developmental process. There are different levels of identity formation, sometimes occurring in different orders and during different time frames depending on the person. This is also a life-long process. The influence of societal norms on identity formation is very strong, and can affect the Identity formation process.

For the LGBT person, coming out is a life transition. Every LGBT youth faces the struggle of coming out of the closet. The process of “Coming out of the Closet” is one of the most significant processes in the lives of LGBT people because many LGBT people believe this to be the period in time in which they were discovering their true selves. Coming Out is a period of recognition, acceptance, expression and discovery, for ones self, and the people in their world. Due to this importance, some LGBT people view their coming out experience as a very personal and deeply meaningful experience in their life journey. They are faced with questions of their own sexuality and gender identity and also have to question whether their friends and family will be supportive. In our heterosexist society, it is assumed that you are heterosexual unless you say otherwise. For some of the LGBT population sexual identity development occurs simultaneously with their race, gender & religious identity development. In 1979, Cass published the first model of homosexual identity formation and revolutionized our understanding of sexual minority persons. Her six-stage model has become the classic outline for the study of homosexual identity formation (McCarn & Fassinger, 1996).

According to the Cass identity model, the stages are identity confusion, identity comparison, identity tolerance, identity acceptance, identity pride, and identity synthesis. These stages might occur simultaneously, skip a step, or even regress.

The first stage in the Cass model is Identity confusion. This is “Characterized by feelings of turmoil, in which one questions previously held assumptions about one’s sexual orientation.” The person asks, ”Could I be gay?” The person’s first realizes gay thoughts, feelings, and attractions. The person may feel confused and starts to ask “Who am I?”. If same-sex attraction occurred, the person may make excuses for the behavior (“I was drunk” “It was a mistake” ect.) In some cases the Person may think that being gay is wrong and undesirable, correct but not okay for the individual or correct and okay for the individual.  The importance of this stage is the acknowledgement and the questioning. This is vital and helps move on to the next stage.

The second stage of the Cass model is Identity comparison. This stage is  “Characterized by feelings of alienation in which one accepts that possibility of being gay or lesbian and becomes isolated from non-gay others.” The person accepts the possibility that they may be gay and weighs the consequences of the information. This person will often engage in same gender romantic behaviors but will reject the label of gayness. During this stage the person might experience isolation and alienation from others. This is when they begin developing an identity as gay rather than straight. The person will often tell himself or herself, “this is just an experiment” and that just because they are testing the waters, does not mean that they will be with someone of the same gender.  This stage is all about exploration, whether having a first intimate experience or emotional experience, it is about finding themselves.

The third stage of the Cass model is Identity tolerance “Characterized by feelings of ambivalence in which one seeks out other gays and lesbians but maintains separate public and private images.” The person begins to accept the probability that they are gay and starts to seek out LGBT social connections.  This makes the person Experience some relief because they are addressing emotional needs. They are now getting more support from others. This makes them Realizes being gay does not mean they cannot have a “normal” life therefore causing greater self-esteem.

The fourth stage of the model is Identity acceptance this is  “Characterized by selective disclosure in which one begins the legitimization (publicly as well as privately) of one’s sexual orientation.” The person realizes they are gay and begins to accept their identity in a positive way.  The person will have increased contact with the gay community. In this stage the person will become more comfortable with being scene in LGBT social settings. The person Begins to view being gay as “normal” and begins choosing to “pass as gay”. During some cases the person may choose to selectively disclose identity. This usually does not include immediate family members.

The fifth stage in the Cass model is Identity pride. This stage is  “Characterized by anger, pride, and activism in which one becomes immersed in the gay subculture and rejects non-gay people, institutions, and values.” The person now wants to disclose their identity and “who they are” to the world. The person is immersed in the gay community and tends to divide their social interactions into “Gay” and “Not Gay”. They now preferring being gay and feel Anger and frustration with homophobic and hetero-normative attitudes.  Disclosing their Sexual identity is now more common.

            The last and final stage according to the Cass model is Identity synthesis-this is “Characterized by clarity and acceptance in which one moves beyond the dichotomized worldview to an incorporation of one’s sexual orientation as one aspect of a more integrated identity.” The person incorporates their sexual identity with all other aspects of self. Their sexual identity becomes one factor of the “Who am I?” question rather then the entire identity. The person begins to integrate more relationships with straight people into their lives and recognizes other identities.  “An individual may experience development in one process to a greater extent than another; for example, he or she may have a strong LGB social identity and an intimate same-sex partner, but not have come out as LGB to family (become an LGB offspring). Furthermore, depending on the con-text and timing, he or she may be at different points of development in a given process, such as when an openly LGB person enters a new work set-ting and chooses not to express his or her LGB identity.”

            This model is one of the most commonly used models, and was the first model provided that did not see Homosexuality as a mental illness. These stages can vary from person to person, and some people will get stuck at one stage and never progress; others may even regress.



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Linguists have known for a long time that some cultures use hand gestures more than others and it appears to be related to climate. However, nobody really knows why. In Europe, hand gestures and signals are used most in the Southern European countries, especially Italy. They diminish a little bit as you go north into France, a tad bit more in England. People in Russia and the Scandinavian countries use hand gestures the least.

During speech or debate class we are often told to look the person you are talking to in the eye. While this is appropriate in a White Anglo-Saxon culture, some cultures consider it rude or disrespectful. This has sometimes been a problem in the United States when a employee talks to a employer. Some cultures teach its people that you don’t look an elder or a superior in the eye when talking to them. It’s a sign of disrespect if you do.

            On the other hand, White American culture tends to teach its people that it’s a sign of dishonesty if you don’t look the person you are talking to in the eye. A person who is honest and forthright always looks the other person in the eye when talking.

Consequently, you have a situation where the employer often mistakenly thinks that the employee is being shifty when he doesn’t look him in the eye while talking when this isn’t the case at all. It’s a difference in the significance that the two cultures place on eye-to-eye contact.

            Then there is the custom of hugging as a greeting. People in Western European cultures, including the U.S., tend to find it offensive, even childish. To other cultures, especially the Russians, it’s a normal way of greeting another person, like a handshake. There is a famous (perhaps infamous) picture of Russian premier Nikita Khruschev hugging Cuban premier, Fidel Castro during a meeting at the U.N. in 1960. Castro was educated enough, however, to know that this was just their culture and to be patient with it. So, it is possible for people of different cultures to adjust to each other’s different, forms of non-verbal communication given the right conditions.
            Another example is that for some people it will be normal to make a gesture either with one finger, or with a hand, palm up, and wiggling fingers toward them when they are trying to get someone to come to them.
In Latin America, the palm-up gesture is only used for calling animals, and would be considered rude for calling a person. It’s more appropriate to call a person with your palm down.

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El Norte

The movie El Norte is a film that depicts the experience of Enrique and Rosa, as they make their journey out of Guatemala in attempts to move north. The movie is divided into three acts. The first act of the film takes place in Guatemala where it goes into the Indian community. We are then introduced to Enrique and Rosa’s father. A comment that stood out for me was when the father stated that for the rich, poor people are nothing more than pairs of arms to do their work. He then plans to form a rebellion against those who have taken over the lands surrounding them. His father is then betrayed by one of the workers and he is beheaded by a platoon of soldiers. Enrique hears gunshots and runs towards the field with a machete, only to find his dads head hanging from a tree. When he attempts to take it down, he is attacked by one of the men, and he manages killing him.

After this attack they end up going after the family members. To their luck Rosa and Enrique were not there when this occurred. Rosa was washing clothes; while Enrique was hiding out at the canyon. Fearing what these men are capable of they decide to speak to their Godmother and try to leave. Before embarking on their journey they ask many people for advice. They ask a man who has been to the United States before and he advises that he disguise himself linguistically as a Mexican Indian both in Mexico and the US. In case he is caught so he wont be forced to return to Guatemala where he would be killed. The man then also warns him that he will need a coyote in order to be smuggled across the border between Mexico and the US.

The second part of the movie takes place in Mexico. They attempt to stow away in a truck only to be found by the truck driver while changing a tire. Since he is Mexican, they try to learn from his behavior in order to fit in. After taking several busses they finally arrive at Tijuana, which is referred to by a fellow passenger as the “cagadero del mundo” which translates into the worlds toilet.

Upon their arrival, a man deceives them, he offers to help them; but in fact is after their money. They are discovered by US border patrol and are taken captive. The border patrol suspects that they are not Mexican, so in order to trick him into thinking so they are Mexican they start using Vulgar Mexican slang. They are then returned to Tijuana instead of Guatemala.

To be smuggled into Los Angeles Rosa sells her mothers necklace, which was the last piece of home they had. This is when they are stripped of their identity and personal belongings. They are then dropped off at a drainage tunnel, which begins in a dump in Mexico and ends at a drainage tunnel in the American side of the border. The tunnel is rat infested, and filthy. When they finally reach the US they are brought food and have their first experience of California. This would be considered their honeymoon phase. They are viewing their surroundings and seeing this place they consider paradise.

The next day Rosa begins working at a sweatshop and they begin living in a motel. During Rosas first day of work INS raids the shop. A co-worker helps her escape and instead suggests they go clean houses. She then goes to a local Sears in which she is exposed to the American Dream. She purchases bright clothing and makeup. This was her attempt to assimilate to the American culture.

As time progresses the hotel room turns into a cozy little apartment. They start taking English classes, and Rosa begins making more money. This is a combination of the negotiation phase and the adjustment phase. They really have nothing to negotiate and must adjust at this point for survival purposes.

Jealousy strikes with Enrique gets a promotion, a co-worker calls INS on him.  At the same time Rosa becomes very ill and is forced to go to the hospital. She has no documentation and is only admitted because of the severity of her illness.  Immigration raids Enrique’s job and he is forced to flee. When Enrique finds out that Rosa is ill he sticks by her because although so much has changed, he still values family.

In Rosas deathbed she states, “In our own land, we have no home. They want to kill us. … In Mexico, there is only poverty. We can’t make a home there either. And here in the north, we aren’t accepted. When will we find a home, Enrique? Maybe when we die, we’ll find a home.” She then dies.  During this crisis Enrique is so numb that he looses touch with his feelings and true emotions. He doesn’t even attempt to pay respects to his sister.

Enrique has lost everything, his family, his culture, his identity, his ethnicity his job. Immediately following his sister’s death, he begins working again. Being picked up by a wealthy man in a BMW. Which brings us back to what his father said at the beginning of the movie for the rich, poor people are nothing more than pairs of arms to do their work. Enrique never reaches the adjustment phase, in the movie. He actually goes through some kind of transition shock. Pre-migration and post-migration he still faces the same issues he did at the beginning, and is still in search for the same thing; The American dream.



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Found this list pretty funny

I have seen some pretty psychopathic therapists.. Don’t know the accuracy of this lol


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March 28, 2013 · 11:14 pm

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Personality traits

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March 28, 2013 · 11:09 pm

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