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Sexual Sadism essay
 
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Sexual Sadism. Custom Sexual Sadism Essay Writing Service || Sexual Sadism Essay samples, help

Sexual sadism is a condition within a broad spectral of sexual behavior anomalies. There has been some consensus on some of the features of the condition which include: fantasy and behavior that relates to the infliction of the pain, humiliation and sufferings. This research paper seeks to examine the studies that have been carried out on the topic by various researchers. The paper will try to substantiate the facts from the theories and ultimately give a proper understanding of the condition.

The topic sexuality is held as a taboo in many cultures around the world; this has led to people ignoring the facts and finding from the researches which have been carried out on the issues related to sexual behaviors. Sexual anomalies are mostly ignored and categorized as self inflicted and the patients’ failure to get the required medical attention may result to devastating effects. Sexual sadism patients may find themselves on the crossroad with the legislation and at times can lead to jail terms; it may also lead to subconsciously hurting the loved ones. A good understanding of the condition is therefore deemed necessary in order to avoid the mysteries surrounding the condition; and the repercussions that are accrued by failure of acknowledging and seeking the necessary medical attention. The understanding of this topic has been hampered by the fact that researches of the topic are based on small samples and often the sample consists of people exhibiting symptoms that vary thus suggesting conditions other than sexual sadism. The research paper will aim gather the available information that can be used to give the patients and the practitioners an insight in the identification, understanding and the treatment of the offenders (patients) (Langevin, 1983).

Definition of Sexual Sadism

According to Richard von Krafft-Ebing, sadism in his book Psychopathia Sexualis, was he borrowed the from Marquis de Sade who is a French writer who gave the following definition; “the sexual experience, pleasurable sensation which includes orgasm, which is produced by a cruel act and body punishment afflicted by a person to another or as witnessed by an observer. Also innate desires to hurt, humiliate, destroy or even wound the victims in order to create sexual pleasure in the perpetrator.” The definitions insist on the fact that infliction of the pain as the core of the condition. The definition is also expanded to include the psychological pain notion that is portrayed in form of humiliating the victim (Karpman, 1954). Karpman incorporated the concept of humiliation, fear and anger as demonstration of power and the pain inflicted indicates the total control of the defenseless victim. A broader definition of sadism was adopted; the desire to have the total power over another creature that will be forced to endure pain and humiliation defenselessly (Fromm, 1977). According to the international classification of the diseases, the definition of sexual sadism according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is the preference of sexual activity that will involve the infliction of pain and humiliation to the victims. However, in advocating for treatment, each patient’s case should be analyzed and be treated with the specification of the symptoms as portrayed in the patient (Laws & Donohue, 2008).

Classification of Sexual Sadism

Sexual sadism can be classified into several categories according to the intensity and the symptoms portrayed. These include: murder lust (arousal linked to the killing of the victim); stabbing and flagellation; necrophilia; women defilement; and boys whipping. Other assaults are cutting women hair; animal sadism; and virtual sadism (and these are sadism without necessarily carrying out the act) (Krafft-Ebing, 1965). Later it was reclassified into two broad categories (Hirschfield, 1956) for clarity. These include: major and minor sadism. The major category will include: the murder, stabbing of women breast and buttocks or even vampirism which involves blood being let out and sapping it deriving sexual sensation from the act; and necrophilia. The minor will include all the other above categories as outlined by Krafft-Ebing. At times the offenders are self voluntary who do not consider the act as problematic but view it as a slight deviation from the normal (Laws & Donohue, 2008).

Background Information

The concept of pain and the body pleasure has been with us for centuries. The issue seems to be hidden in the historical publications but given the cruelty of some of the traditional societies such as the Romans and the Greece, the actual happenings are difficult to interpret. An example is the Kamasutra that was composed in India and advocates for scratching, slapping and biting as a form of eroticism (Hall).

Sexual sadism cuts across all sexual relations including, heterosexuals as well as the homosexuals. Studies have shown that although the perpetrators tend to submit to their respective roles, the reversal at time does occur and the partner can take the reverse role. The act is orchestrated in these three ways: bondage (which may include tying up the partner); beatings (which includes whipping) and finally humiliation (which may include boot whipping and using urine). The sexual sadists are observed to be considerate of their partners’ feelings and thoughts. This is probably the reason why rape is not included as a form of sexual sadism since there is no attachment between the victims and the perpetrator.  Another striking observation is that masochism and sadism are observed to be compliments with the perpetrators having the capacity to exhibit the two characteristics occasionally (Sutker, & Adams, 2001).

Literature Review

Efforts to try and understand the condition have been underway. Several studies have been carried out on the topic. An example is (Brittan, 1970) and also the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI-1990). Brittan described lust murderers as timid, over controlled, egocentric, sexually introverted, sexually inexperienced and deeply deviant with fantasies of sadism. However, scrutinizing of Brittan’s work, several contradictions were discovered. An example is the description of the offenders as egocentric and over controlled who possess low self esteem. Another contradiction is the characteristic of the offenders to collect pornographic materials while others did not. There was also a problem with his cited works such as (Dietz and colleagues, 1986) which used interviews from 30 sadists but there was no group of non sadists to compare with. These inconsistencies in his research led to his description and the treatment procedure was not being supported. The significance of his research was that it stimulated more research on the topic. The studies led to the conclusion that sadism perpetrators exhibit narcissism and psychopathic conditions. This conclusion was based on DSM III-R (American Psychiatrist Association-1987) which was the current criteria by then. Another study where the psychopathy check list was used to assess the psychopathy, it was revealed that there was no relationship between psychopathy and sadism.  This led to the suggestion that the FBI sample may not have been a representative sample for the study, but probably a representative of an extremist group within the group (Laws & Donohue, 2008).

Grubin in the year 2004 compared 21 men who sexually attacked and killed the victims with 121 rapists who did not actually kill the victims. Those who killed the victims were found to possess more isolation characters and had more difficulties in establishing a sexual relationship. There were several inconsistencies as well, for example there were no significance differences in the use of pornography and errant fantasies by the two groups by the two groups. The two groups appeared to have familiar histories that are relatively stable (Grubin, 1994).

Another report by Proulx, Blais and Beauregard (2005) found out that the non-sadist offenders plan their offences prior to the execution, they plan to kidnap, use bondage, torture and weapons, strangle and post mortem intercourse among other vices.

Other studies have been carried out to indicate the presence of sadist rapists. Although no much research have been carried out in this category of the sadists, there have been indications of the existence of sexual sadists among the rapists category. The difference among the two is indicated by the difference in the arousal patterns as portrayed. The rapists are reported to be aroused by a non consented female while the sadists are aroused by a suffering and humiliated partner. However the study of the arousal patterns based only on the psychological approach has resulted to inconclusive reports in the terms of the relationship between the violence degree and the arousal. The reports are also faced with the methodological issues as there are no clear guidelines distinguishing the offenders and the common man. Also, the characteristics of the two overlaps at times make it difficult to categorize. Thus although arousal is centered to be the key difference in the two, the researches does not give the physicians clear information that can be used to distinguish between the two (Laws & Donohue, 2008).

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