Clinical characteristics and psychiatric comorbidity in males with exhibitionism.

  • Wilhelm S
  • Keuthen N
  • Deckersbach T
  • et al.
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BACKGROUND: This study was constructed to detail the demographic and phenomenological features of males with exhibitionism. METHOD: Male subjects with DSM-IV exhibitionism were administered a semistructured interview to elicit demographic data and information on the phenomenology, age at onset, and associated features of the disorder. Subjects also underwent structured clinical interviews to assess both Axis I and Axis II comorbidities. Data were collected from September 2003 to March 2005. RESULTS: Twenty-five males with exhibitionism (mean SD age = 35.0 +/-13.1 years range, 14-68 years) were studied. The majority of subjects were single (60% N = 15) and heterosexual (80% N = 20). The mean SD age at onset for exhibitionism was 23.4 +/-13.1 years. All subjects reported urges to expose themselves with little control over these urges. Exposing oneself while driving was the most common expression of the disorder. Twenty-three (92%) suffered from a current comorbid Axis I disorder (major depressive disorder, compulsive sexual behavior, and substance use disorders were most common), and 40% (N = 10) suffered from a personality disorder. Suicidal thoughts were common (52% N = 13), and many (36% N = 9) had been arrested for exhibitionism. CONCLUSION: Exhibitionism appears to be associated with high rates of psychiatric comorbidity and impairment. Research is needed to optimize patient care for men with this disorder.




Wilhelm, S., Keuthen, N. J., Deckersbach, T., Engelhard, I. M., Forker, A. E., Baer, L., … Jenike, M. A. (2007). Clinical characteristics and psychiatric comorbidity in males with exhibitionism. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66(11), 132–138.

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