Perversion is a concept describing those types of
human behaviorthat are perceived to be a serious deviation from what is considered to be orthodox or normal. Although it can refer to varying forms of deviation, it is most often used to describe sexual behaviors that are seen as abnormal or excessive. Perversion differs from deviant behavior, since the latter refers to a recognized violation of social rules or norms (although the two terms can apply to the same thing). It is often considered derogatory and in psychological literature the term paraphiliais now used insteadMartins, Maria C.; co-author Ceccarelli, Paulo. [http://www.ceccarelli.psc.br/artigos/ingles/html/thesocalled.htm "The So-called "Deviant" Sexualities: perversion or right to difference?"] Presented in the 16th World Congress. "Sexuality and Human Development: From Discourse to Action." 10-14 March, 2003 Havana, Cuba.] , though this term is controversial.
The concept of perversion is somewhat subjective, and its application varies depending on culture. As a psychological term it was originally applied especially frequently to homosexual behavior. [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pervert Online Etymological Dictionary: "Pervert"] ] However, homosexuality is no longer treated as a disorder in mainstream psychiatry (see
Homosexuality and psychology).
The verb "pervert" is less narrow in reference than the related nouns, and may be used with no sexual connotations. [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pervert Dictionary.com: "Pervert"] ] One might say, for example, that a modern film version of "
Romeo and Juliet" "perverts" Shakespeare's version of the story.
The noun sometimes occurs in abbreviated
slangform as "perv", and the adjective "pervy" also occurs. Both are often, but not exclusively, used non-seriously.
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