Yves Ferroul, France
Summary of a lecture at 15th World Congress of Sexology,
Paris, June 2001
Many therapists designate various [sexual] practices as 'sexual perversion'. many magazine articles study the various classifications of those practices using implicit or explicit norms. Nevertheless, studying the human behavior in historical as well as actual societies, proves that sexual perversions do not exist. If one uses those words, one designate variations of sexual behavior that is rejected by this or that society in that period, while they are accepted by others; let it be the sexual behavior of a neurotic person, it still is one of the possible manifestations of neurotic behavior.
It's the more irritating that this name giving has not any therapeutic benefit, nor does it help the person to regain his balance. In contrast, it has such a negative connotation that a person who has got the label 'perverse' from a therapist or another, will have such a negative self concept that he looses all hope and falls down into a negative spiral.
However, if one explains the motives that obstruct the affective and sexual development and that lead to compulsive delinquent behavior, one gives help to understand oneself and one creates a possibility to change. Development is possible, hope will come back, the balance will recover.
Words are not innocent and words are not only things to know; there are words that kill.