For diagnostic classification purposes, all the paraphilias consist of sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, and/or overt sexual behaviours directed towards non-human objects, towards the suffering, humiliation, and/or degradation of oneself or one's partner, and towards children and/or other partners who cannot and/or are not willing to give consent to sexual activity.(3) In order to receive a paraphilic diagnosis in DSM-IV a patient must have experienced one of the preceding behaviours for a period of 6 months or longer, and the behaviour must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, and/or other significant areas of the individual's functioning. As in the rest of ICD-10, impairment is not a criterion for the diagnosis of paraphilia.

Current classification is based on previous identification of the paraphilic behaviour within clinical environments. The paraphilias described in this chapter are Paedophilia, Exhibitionism, Fetishism, Frotteurism, Masochism, Sexual Sadism, Transvestic Fetishism, Voyeurism, and other problematic sexual behaviours that are classified as Paraphilia Not Otherwise Specified (Paraphilia NOS). The most commonly seen paraphilias have their own diagnostic codes, while those less commonly seen are classified under Paraphilia NOS.

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