/ek'seuh bish"euh niz'euhm/, n.
1. a tendency to display one's abilities or to behave in such a way as to attract attention.
2. Psychiatry. a disorder characterized esp. by a compulsion to exhibit the genitals in public.
[1890-95; EXHIBITION + -ISM]

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▪ sexual behaviour
      derivation of sexual gratification through compulsive display of one's genitals. Like voyeurism (q.v.), sexual display is almost universal as a prelude to sexual activity in animals, including humans; it is regarded as deviant behaviour when it takes place outside the context of intimate sexual relations. Exhibitionists are usually not dangerous, although the experience is frequently perceived by the victim as threatening; violence or sexual assault seldom follows the display.

      The exhibitionist, almost always male, may obtain gratification from the reaction of disgust or fear on the part of his victim, but this reaction is not always necessary to his excitement. Previously normal individuals sometimes turn to exhibitionism following severe mental trauma or personal loss. The chronic exhibitionist, however, is likely to have a serious personality disorder.

      Exhibitionism is the most common form of sexual deviation to come into conflict with the law in Western society. Nearly all of those arrested for exhibitionism are men; the disorder, if it exists at all in women, is seldom evident. Some experts suggest that female exhibitionism is not uncommon, but is not identified as deviant behaviour because there are socially acceptable ways for women to display their bodies.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • exhibitionism — [n] attention seeking behavior exposing oneself, flashing*, immodesty, indecent exposure, self display, showing off; concepts 261,386 …   New thesaurus

  • exhibitionism — ► NOUN 1) extravagant behaviour that is intended to attract attention to oneself. 2) Psychiatry a mental condition characterized by the compulsion to display one s genitals in public. DERIVATIVES exhibitionist noun exhibitionistic adjective …   English terms dictionary

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  • Exhibitionism — A young woman exposing herself in the streets of Budapest Exhibitionism refers to a desire or compulsion to expose parts of one s body – specifically the genitals or buttocks of a man or woman, or the breasts of a woman – in a public or semi… …   Wikipedia

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  • exhibitionism — A morbid compulsion to expose a part of the body, especially the genitals, with the intent of provoking sexual interest in the viewer. * * * ex·hi·bi·tion·ism .ek sə bish ə niz əm n 1 a) a perversion marked by a tendency to indecent exposure …   Medical dictionary

  • exhibitionism — noun (U) 1 behaviour that is intended to make people notice or admire you, but which most people think is silly: Look at those idiots standing on the statue. It s just pure exhibitionism. 2 behaviour in which someone shows their penis or breasts… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • exhibitionism — noun Date: 1893 1. a. a perversion in which sexual gratification is obtained from the indecent exposure of one s genitals (as to a stranger) b. an act of such exposure 2. the act or practice of behaving so as to attract attention to oneself •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • exhibitionism — noun a) An urge to walk around naked or show ones genitals, breasts or buttocks at times b) An urge to display for example ones wealth, for example by driving around in a conspicuous expensive car. See Also: exhibit, exhibitionist …   Wiktionary