The Acts of Frottage Recurrent fantasies, actual rubbing or touching of: –breasts –legs –arms –buttocks Frotteur uses his hands or genitals Victims generally female (PsychNet-UK, 2003.)
The incidents occur in crowded, conspicuous places: –Subways –Trains –Elevators, escalators –Buses –Busy crowds Easy escape from detection
Profile of a Frotteur - The typical frotteur is between the ages of 15 and 25, typically begin at puberty and decrease after the age of 25 -Studies have also found that older men with shy and reserved personalities or who withdraw socially are also typical frotteurs -Frotteurism is considered a criminal offense, as it is a form of non-consensual sex. However, most frotteurs disappear quickly into the crowd and do not remain near their victims after the offense, also making it difficult to assess any prevalence rates -For the majority of cases, frotteurs are male and the victims are female. Though any parts of the victim’s body may be touched by the frotteur, most often the offender will rub his hands or genitals on women’s breasts, legs, or buttocks (PsychNet-UK, 1998)
Comorbidity Persons diagnosed with frotteurism are often also diagnosed with another paraphilia The most common paraphilias comorbid with frotteurism are voyeurism and exhibitionism, presumably because these paraphilias involve a private sexual experience occuring in a public setting (Hucker, 2001)
Frotteurism and Courtship Disorder Research done by Doctor Kurt Freund found frotteurism to be a mode of an underlying courtship disorder Freund placed normal male- female erotic interaction in four phases -Frotteurism is seen to be a disorder of tactile interaction Studies have also been done to show links to the similarity of frotteurs’ actions to tribadism, which is often practiced in homosexual sex. These studies have not received much support NORMAL MALE- FEMALE INTERACTION 1.Searching for a Partner 2.Pre-tactile Interaction 3.Tactile Interaction 4.Genital Union (Langevin, 1979) (Hucker, 2001)
Co-occurences of Frotteurism Behavior When Voyeurism and Exhibitionism Occured VoyeurismExhibitionismFrotteurism Voyeurism ______39.9%42.0% Exhibitionism 82.4%______73.1% Frotteurism 40.0%33.7%______
Is Frotteurism a Crime? “Charles” is a 45 year old man who was referred for psychiatric consultation after his second arrest for rubbing up against strangers in the subway. He would choose his victim while they were still in the station, then follow the women onto the train where he would proceed to press up against them from behind.
Most women have experienced public groping, but few feel threatened enough to report it to the police
Crime Con’t There are cases of arrest among frotteurs, however it is uncommon Most of the time the victim is unaware that anything is happening. Because the acts are committed in crowded public spaces, it is easy for the frotteur to blend in with the crowd.
In this day of sexual liberty, it is hard to distinguish the line between ordinary sexual behavior and sexual deviance. However, Frotteurism can be considered a crime because it involves an unwilling partner.
Symptoms and Diagnosis -The symptoms of frotteurism have been found to be very similar to those of mental retardation, substance intoxication, manic episode, and schizophrenia -Therefore, patients believed to have frotteurism are typically asked questions such as the following in order to form a complete and accurate diagnosis: For how many years have the symptoms been present? Has the patient had sexually arousing fantasies involving touching and rubbing against a nonconsenting person? Yes No Has the patient had sexually arousing urges involving touching and rubbing against a nonconsenting person? Yes No Has the patient engaged in sexually arousing behaviors involving touching and rubbing against a nonconsenting person? Yes No Has the patient had sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving touching and rubbing against a nonconsenting person? Yes No (Harper, 2002)
Diagnostic Criteria Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving touching and rubbing against a non-consenting person. The person has acted on these urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty
Treatments insight-oriented psychotherapy –aimed at uncovering and working through the underlying cause of the behavior behavioral therapy group therapy medications –Prozac –Medroxyprogesterone used to decrease sexual desire.
Treatments Con’t There is very little in the way of controlled outcome data, so it's difficult to say which of these approaches works best. However, initial data indicates that an integrated approach is most effective. Teaching the individual more effective means of self-regulation –dealing with unpleasant emotions Helping them develop meaningful interpersonal relationships are the most basic ways of dealing with the disorder.
Works Cited Bowen, Jon. Home Page. Disorder Information Sheet. 19 July PsychNet-UK. 04 Apr Disorder Information-Paraphilias. 2 Feb PsychNet-UK. 4 Apr Freund, Kurt, and Rpnom Watson. "Mapping the Boundaries of Courtship Disorder." Journal of Sex Research 27 (1990): Frotteurism in Paraphilias and Sexual Disorders. ALLPSYCH Online. 04 Apr Frotteurism-Online Diagnosis. Comp. Judith Harper. 2 Mar The National Medical Society. 4 Apr Hucker, Stephen. PsychDirect FRCPsych. 04 Apr Hucker, Stephen. Assessment and Management of Violence Risk. 4 Mar FRC Psych. 4 Apr Langevin, R. "Etiology of Genital Exhibitionism." Archives of Sexual Behavior 8 (1979):