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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2004 10:51 pm (UTC)
I would hate to bother you, but I heard you are a psychologist, and with the evolutionary focus you describe in your bio, I wonder if you would be open to giving your educated opinion on something?
Aug. 19th, 2004 04:58 am (UTC)
Let me know what the something is, and if I think I am qualified to comment on it, I would be happy to.
Aug. 19th, 2004 12:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Basically the question is this: If someone has a sexual fetish that involves both partners pretending to be someone or something else entirely, even if it isn't nessisary for them, only an interest, do you think (in your educated opinion if nothing else) that would be considered normal, or is there something 'wrong' with them? And in either case, is it something that might be treatable?

I want to clarify that this question is purely academic and I'm not asking for any advice for myself or anyone else. I'm just interested in your personal best estimation of the situation, since you've probably had a fair amount of education related to it, and I haven't. Also, I can't help wondering if a focus on evolution might help in knowing about the science of how people are attracted to eachother and what special interests they might develop, since it seems directly related.
Aug. 20th, 2004 05:32 am (UTC)
"Normal" and "wrong" are society's value judgments rather than a scientific assessment of psychopathology. Psychologists do take into account these social value judgments when deciding upon diagnostic categories, but also consider other factors such as the person's ability to function in everyday life.

The scenario you describe does not sound like a psychopathology to me because you say the individuals do not require the role playing for sex--they are doing it for variety, to make sex more interesting. Diagnosis of a pathological sexual fetish involves a strong need and preference for the the fetish, e.g., a man that has sex with shoes rather than people.

Evolutionary psychology is indeed a very powerful perspective for understanding attraction. Dr. David M. Buss of the University of Texas, although he did not invent the field of evolutionary psychology, he gave it a very powerful boost with the research summarized in his book, The Evolution of Desire. I recommend this book as a starting place for the topic. For a book on more exotic forms of sexual preference, I recommend a book by Dr. J. Michael Baily of Northwestern University, The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism.
Aug. 20th, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much, I really appreciate that you were willing to take the time to answer my questions, and that helped a lot. I'm looking into those books right now.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )