Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Alessandra Rellini


Despite the newfound prevalence of paraphilias, few studies have directly examined paraphilic populations. Fewer still have examined the experience of distress and dysfunction in these populations, which is surprising given the importance of these outcomes in distinguishing between a paraphilia and paraphilic disorder. While prior studies have examined distress/dysfunction in paraphilic populations via the constructs of sexual compulsivity and sexual distress, the current study sought to evaluate possible mechanisms that might mediate the relationship between paraphilic interests and these outcomes. Specifically, the current study proposed and tested an adapted Minority Stress model framework examining disclosure, sexual shame, and sexual pride as possible mediators in the relationship between paraphilic fantasies and sexual compulsivity and distress. Data was collected via an online questionnaire distributed to a college-aged population. Results indicated that paraphilic fantasies were relatively common, and overall results supported the adapted Minority Stress model: frequency of paraphilic fantasies was related to higher levels of both shame and pride, which in turn were both positively related to compulsivity (contrary to our expectations), and positively and negatively related to sexual distress (respectively). Furthermore, disclosure was found to relate to higher levels of pride, but did not relate to shame. Overall, results suggest the importance of further examination of sexual shame and pride in predicting sexual health outcomes, as well as further developing possible mechanisms by which engagement in paraphilic fantasies, as well as the process of disclosure, might result in experiences of sexual shame and pride, perhaps simultaneously.



Number of Pages

55 p.