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Sexual Infantilism in Adults: Causes and Treatment - Summary

Section 5 of Thomas John Speaker's Masters thesis "Sexual Infantilism in Adults: Causes and Treatment"

For a variety of reasons, some adults attempt to recreate the feelings of infancy. For some of these adults the motivation is sexual and their behavior can be labeled as sexual infantilism. Fetish behavior has traditionally been evaluated by psychologists who based their judgments on personal biases. The psychologist has tended to ignore concepts of social control in both assessment and therapy.

Even highly variant sexual behavior, such as sexual infantilism, must be considered in terms of adaptation and coping strategies; therapy must be tempered with a consciousness of the social controller role of the therapist. Using case studies for illustration, it was suggested that sexual infantilism differs from stereotypes of fetishes as a totally debilitating type of behavior either socially or sexually, and calls into question the accuracy of the stereotype for other fetishes.

Several models of fetishism were compared to the case studies for accuracy. Primary causal relationships were suggested only in the behavioral theories but support surfaced for components of several of the other models.

Treatment recommendations for the individual case subjects were discussed, the conclusion being that the behavior itself did not warrant treatment as long as the individuals were comfortable with it. For those individuals who requested treatment, a new model of treatment was suggested which combined the Barlow model with the PLISSIT model. The combination was felt to result in a treatment for fetishes which was more accurate in assessment and treatment plans and which offered the client greater options in controlling their own behavior.

Examined: 9 April 1980| HTML conversion: 4 June 2010

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