Perversion is a concept describing those types of human behavior that 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 paraphilia is now used insteadMartins, Maria C.; co-author Ceccarelli, Paulo. [ "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. [ 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. [ "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 slang form as "perv", and the adjective "pervy" also occurs. Both are often, but not exclusively, used non-seriously.


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  • perversion — [ pɛrvɛrsjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1444; lat. perversio 1 ♦ Littér. Action de pervertir; changement en mal. ⇒ dépravation. Perversion des mœurs, des coutumes. ⇒ corruption, dérèglement. Perversion du goût artistique. ⇒ altération. 2 ♦ Psychol. Déviation des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • perversión — sustantivo femenino 1. Conducta contraria a la razón o al orden esperado, especialmente en lo referente a la moral: La perversión de su manera de vivir es un mal ejemplo. La perversión de los dirigentes no conduce a nada bueno. perversión sexual… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • perversión — f. med. Alteración morbosa de una función normal. Medical Dictionary. 2011. perversión 1. cualquier …   Diccionario médico

  • Perversion — Per*ver sion, n. [L. perversio: cf. F. perversion. See {Pervert}.] The act of perverting, or the state of being perverted; a turning from truth or right; a diverting from the true intent or object; a change to something worse; a turning or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Perversion — (lat.), Verdrehung, Verschlimmerung …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Perversion — Perversion, lat. deutsch, Verdrehung; Perversität, Verkehrtheit …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • perversion — I noun abasement, aberrance, aberrancy, aberration, abnormality, abomination, abuse, baseness, contamination, corruptio, corruption, debasement, debauchery, defilement, degradation, demoralization, depravatio, depravation, depravity, evil… …   Law dictionary

  • perversion — late 14c., action of turning aside from truth, corruption, distortion (originally of religious beliefs), from PERVERT (Cf. pervert) (v.). Psychological sense of disorder of sexual behavior in which satisfaction is sought through channels other… …   Etymology dictionary

  • perversion — [n] sexual abnormality aberration, anomaly, corruption, debauchery, deviance, fetish, immorality, kink*, kinkiness, sexual deviation; concept 545 …   New thesaurus

  • perversión — (Del lat. perversĭo, ōnis). f. Acción y efecto de pervertir …   Diccionario de la lengua española

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