Typically most people think about sex offenders as violent rapists or “snatch and grab” child molesters. In truth, only a small minority of sex offenders fit either of these media-driven stereotypes.
Exhibitionistic disorder is a mental health condition that centers on a need to expose one’s genitals to other people (typically strangers caught off guard) in order to gain sexual satisfaction. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) classifies the condition within a larger group of illnesses called paraphilic disorders. All people with exhibitionistic disorder have a pattern of sexual conduct called exhibitionism; however, not all exhibitionists qualify for a diagnosis of exhibitionistic disorder. The specific criteria for such a diagnosis are contained in the new fifth edition of an APA reference guide called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. [Read more…]