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Aggression and Forbiddenness in Voyeurism

IRVIN D. YALOM, M.D.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(3):305-319. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710030091012.
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I. Introduction and Definition II. Psychodynamics With Special Emphasis on: Sadism Forbiddenness III. Clinical Material IV. Conclusion and Summary

Introduction and Definition  Voyeurism, despite the frequency of its occurrence and the ease with which it lends itself to behavioristic description, nevertheless remains a vague, poorly defined concept. Psychiatric literature devoted to this perversion is scarce, although there are many brief oblique references to voyeurism in studies of exhibitionism.Legally, the position of voyeurism is like-wise vague, the offense being ignored in many psychiatric-legal texts. It is difficult to assess its incidence as a sexual offense, since individuals are rarely charged with voyeurism. Unless they are fortunate enough to be dismissed disgustedly by the police with a warning, they are usually charged with intrusion of privacy, disturbing the peace, or held on suspicion of burglary. Indeed, the shame is so great that some voyeurs prefer to be

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