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Exhibitionism and some examples of it

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Like all other states, Texas takes sex offenses seriously. Exhibitionism is one of those crimes, but it’s more than that; it’s actually a mental disorder. This is what to know about it and how to protect yourself if you are facing these types of charges.

Explaining exhibitionism

Exhibitionism is formally known as exhibitionistic disorder, a condition that causes a person to act on the compulsion to expose their genitals to random people in public. Those who do this get a sense of sexual pleasure out of it, but at the same time, they often simultaneously experience distress.

In many instances, a person who perpetrates exhibitionism chooses a victim such as a woman or child. If the person is caught, they can be charged with a sex offense such as indecent exposure, but sexual gratification isn’t their primary goal; instead, they aim to scare, shock or even impress the victim.

Causes of exhibitionistic behavior

Various factors can cause exhibitionistic behavior. Individuals who struggle with substance use disorder or who have been sexually abused in the past have a high risk. Antisocial personality disorder also increases one’s chances of developing exhibitionistic disorder.

Examples of exhibitionism

Typically, when a person engages in exhibitionism, their victims are strangers. For example, they might be in a public shopping center while wearing a long coat and open it to expose their nude body underneath to passersby.

Another example is when a major sporting event takes place at a large arena and a person runs through the audience while streaking. Someone can also engage in exhibitionistic behavior while in the doorway of a building. When a person wants to enter, they expose their genitals to them.

Exhibitionism can lead to serious charges of sex offenses and adversely affect a person’s life. However, those who suffer from exhibitionistic disorder need counseling, not jail time.