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Is Pedophilia a Mental Disorder?

Podophilia is a disorder that sends a signal to the brain and stimulates arousal. This disorder is one of the most common forms of fetishism that does not involve a sexual organ. Podophilia refers to a sexual obsession with feet or anything pertaining to feet. Some symptoms of this disorder include a sexual attraction to feet, excessive amounts of time spent thinking about feet and sexual fantasies involving feet. Many fetishists are aroused by painted toenails, bare feet, the smell of feet, or even dressed feet.

Podophilia usually develops during a person’s discovery of who they are sexually This disorder is more common in males; in fact, males account for over 70% of cases. Treatment for this disorder includes psychoanalysis, hypnosis, and behavior therapy. Podophilia: Sexual Interest or Obsession in Feet An Overview: Podophilia is a branch of fetishism that involves feet or footwear. It is a disorder in which a person gets sexually aroused by feet or anything concerning feet.

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This disorder is found mostly in men and can be mild, moderate, or severe in which a person may need serious treatment.

Symptoms of Podophilia include but are not limited to having repeated sexually arousing fantasies, behaviors, and urges that involve lifeless objects such as feet or shoes. A foot fetishist is usually aroused by seeing, touching, smelling, and kissing the feet or toes of another person or by having someone else carry out these actions on them. Foot fetishism, also known as Podophilia, was believed to be a genetic disorder but was actually discovered to cultivate during a person’s sexual development.

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An individual with this disorder can face an excessive amount of distress and may face social or personal dysfunction if the disorder is severe. However, not all individuals with a foot fetish need treatment. If an individual accepts the fact that they have this disorder, no treatment is necessary. What is a case involving Podophilia? In a case study performed by W. L. Marshall, on a 35 year old, white, American, male; it was found that the man could only have a daily erection if a female wore a certain type of leather pumps and stockings.

The outcome of his erection was increased by movements of the foot. If the foot did not move then the man could not fully become erect and ejaculate unless he had not done so in weeks. What mattered most was that this man found something so “strange” to most people very exciting. Those who helped to conduct this study stated that it had to be a learned response during adolescence, most likely from “accidental” sexual associations, and then the object later becomes the obsession. Prior to this case study, psychoanalyst’s concluded that fetishes develop due to a child’s “fear of being castrated”.

However, as far as this male could consciously remember, he had a profound interest in women’s feet in shoes. As a child, he even pretended to drop his fork under the dinner table to stare at his sister’s feet. He said that at the time, he had no sexual interest in his sister, just her feet. Years later, he discovered that he actually had a foot fetish. During this case study, the white male told stories of how he would go out to public places to look at women’s feet and he would masturbate underneath a newspaper after being aroused by the sight of their feet.

However, this was not enough for him so he found himself homeless, jobless, depressed and often arrested because he would not be satisfied if he could not watch women’s feet. On a certain occasion, he found himself publicly masturbating while chasing a train because he was aroused by a woman’s feet that were on the train. During this wild adventure, he fell onto the platform and was knocked unconscious due to his actions. This case proves that having a fetish is not what is dangerous, but the extent of the fetish is what turns out to be dangerous and what proves that foot fetishism is actually a disorder.

Is there treatment for Podophilia? Sufficient evidence shows that many sexual behavior disorders such as Podophilia could begin or be eliminated after a lobotomy or after an accident. Studies have also shown proof of a biological difference in men with and without sexual arousal interests by using electroencephalography (EEG). By using EEG, it helps to prove that fetishes are embedded in the brain, but may only be activated and conditioned under appropriate circumstances. The white male in W. L Marshall’s case study did not have to undergo treatment for his condition.

In fact, he abstained from his own addiction long enough to get himself back on his feet and get a job and a video camera. He bought himself a video camera so that he could take pictures of female “models”, pay them, and then masturbate to his own photo collection. To this day, he says he no longer goes out in search for women’s feet to look at; instead he goes out looking for women who are willing to take pictures for him. People with this disorder do not need treatment if they can handle the disorder on there own; however, there are psychoanalytical, behavioral, and hypnosis treatments available.

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Is Pedophilia a Mental Disorder?. (2017, Jan 08). Retrieved from

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