Paraphilic disorders: A better understanding

Fred S. Berlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In my role as the Director of The Johns Hopkins Sex and Gender Clinic, I have had the opportunity to provide care to 3 broad categories of patients: patients with sexual dysfunctions, patients experiencing gender dysphoria, and patients manifesting a paraphilic disorder. This article will not address sexual dysfunctions or gender dysphoria, but these terms are defined in the Box1-3 (page 23) to clearly distinguish them from paraphilic disorders. Persons with paraphilic disorders (predominantly males) experience recurrent atypical sexual fantasies and urges that cause clinically significant impairment or distress.1 Those atypical fantasies and urges may be directed towards unacceptable partners such as animals or children, or towards unacceptable behaviors such as public exhibitionism. Table 11 (page 24) lists the paraphilic disorders identified in DSM-5. This article focuses primarily, though not exclusively, upon pedophilic disorder, and its pharmacologic treatment. However, the rationale underlying such treatment is applicable across the paraphilic spectrum. Before providing such treatment, it is important for clinicians to have a clear conceptual understanding of paraphilic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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