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Aberrant Sexual Behavior

Updated: APRIL 20, 2020

Aberrant sexual behavior is any way of acting sexually that lies outside society’s accepted norms. Aberrant sexual behavior can be merely frowned upon or, in more serious cases, criminal.

Aberrant sexual behavior can also be called aberrant sex behavior, sexual deviancy, or atypical sexual behavior.


More About Aberrant Sexual Behavior

There is a wide spectrum of aberrant sexual behavior. Masochism, sadism, fetishism, and transvestism, while considered aberrant sexual behaviors, aren’t considered problematic when practiced among consenting adults. However, many aberrant sexual behaviors are illegal in most parts of the world, including pedophilia, zoophilia, and voyeurism.

What is considered aberrant sexual behavior can also change over time. An early definition stated that for a sex act to be considered within the norm, it must allow for procreation. However, by this definition, pedophilia would fall within the normal spectrum with a minor child of menstruating age. In the past, homosexual sex activity was considered aberrant sexual behavior. However, today when homosexual marriages are legal in many parts of the world, homosexual sex is considered a deviation from the norm, rather than aberrant.

As alcohol lowers inhibitions, there is a strong link between excessive consumption of alcohol and aberrant sexual behavior. While intoxicated, people may act on “hostile” fantasies that otherwise might stay in their minds.

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