Talk:Courtship disorder

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Disclosure[edit]

In the interests of disclosure, I am a professional sexologist, and I am the primary author of one of the references quoted on the main page.
— James Cantor (talk) 00:48, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

This article seems filled with original research. Much of the referenced material and analysis is presented in support of this theory, rather than this theory specifically being addressed in a variety of reliable sources, as demanded by Wikipedia policy. Some of these problems may be addressed by removing sentences, others perhaps by rewording the sentence to attribute the view to the theory's proponent(s). The theory's notability also seems in question. As this article is linked to from the article on rape, it has high exposure, but that level of exposure may be inappropriate.

Less importantly, this article is also written using specialized language and apparent jargon; failing to explain the theory in common terms. For example, what is "paraphilic rape?" Blackworm (talk) 00:57, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure what it is that you think is original research; nearly every sentence on the page has a source, and the sources are all very high end academic journals. Googling on "courtship disorder" yields 1,500 hits (mostly from academic sources), and the courtship disorder theory is included in nearly every major academic book on the paraphilias. (I could add them, of course, but once the best known or the first mention is made, adding others seems redundant to me. Nonetheless, they can be found without much difficulty.)
"Paraphilic rape" is when an individual has a sexual preference for rape over typical sex; that is, such individuals are relatively uninterested in consenting sexual behavior. Paraphilic rape has also been called biastophilia. The other major "motivator" for rape, according to sexologists, is anti-social personality disorder.
If you have any specific recommendations for what to change, feel free to suggest how best to incorporate them.
— James Cantor (talk) 02:37, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Original research may also take the form of a synthesis of sources. For example, the sentence: "The evidence for the Courtship disorder theory is that the paraphilias inside courtship disorder spectrum co-occur with each other more frequently than with paraphilias outside the courtship disorder spectrum."[10][11][12][13] That sentence has four sources for it, but it is absolutely meaningless -- even if the clause was true (about paraphilias co-occuring), it isn't clear why that is evidence for the theory. It isn't clear whether (and which) sources are talking specifically about evidence for "courtship disorder," or if they're simply making claims about the co-occurence of certain behaviours without mentioning "courtship disorder" or "courtship disorder spectrum" (in which case we would be engaging in original research by drawing the conclusion that this is evidence for the theory).
That section has a title which refers to the "acceptance" of this theory, when there is no source discussing a consensus among scientists in this field. The article seems written as a journal article, claiming the authors' point of view as fact. We must avoid this, and attribute views to the author. Note that most of the sources have the same authors, again calling into doubt the notability or acceptance of this theory. It seems like this article is an attempt to increase its notability, not reflect its notability as it should.
Finally, it is arguably non-neutral to write in this way about a term that seems to have no wide usage, call it "courtship disorder," and apply it only to males. It's like someone inventing a condition called "illogical argument disorder," and defining it as applying only to women. If someone did such a thing, the article would need to be written carefully to avoid any appearance that Wikipedia supports the term. I believe this article should be written in that way as well, as the claim that a "courtship disorder" is "male only" is quite similarly offensive. Blackworm (talk) 15:12, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Also thank you for your edit explaining paraphilic rape. Blackworm (talk) 15:18, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
  • References 10-13 are all cited repeatedly in the literature on the paraphilias as evidence for the courtship disorder hypothesis. If you think it would improve the article, I can certainly pull together additional references for a section along the lines of 'Freund noted that these particular paraphilias co-occur; Freund developed this model to explain why; other experts cite the theory frequently in writing about the taxonomy of paraphilias; other experts have replicated Freund's observation that these paraphilias co-occur'. Is that the kind of thing you are suggesting?
  • I am not wed to the section's title. Suggestions for better ones?
  • Of all the experts who have written about courtship disorder (dozens), only one disagreed with it. I have no opposition to naming that pub (the author was Ron Langevin), but I decided against it, since the field is nearly unanimous in the opposite direction and including it in such a short article seemed (to me) to give it undue weight.
  • I am not quite sure what would convince you of notability, but if you can name a criterion (other than the simple google search I mentioned already), I'll see what I can do to fulfill it. Meanwhile, to accuse me of attempting to increase rather than reflect notability does not strike me as AGF.
  • Every author who has ever written on the paraphilias has noted that they are nearly entirely phenomena of males (except for sexual masochism). This has been true for more than a century and without exception. It is not clear to me why one would find a statement of a very well known and well documented sex difference as offensive.

— James Cantor (talk) 15:52, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Nearly entirely of males? But the article says, "Courtship disorder is a theoretical construct in sexology in which a certain set of paraphilias are seen as specific instances of anomalous courtship instincts in men." Which is it?
  • 1500 Google hits isn't that much, but that in itself isn't enough to disclaim notability -- I'm looking for more third-party sources discussing this as a recognized paraphilia. Looking at a few top hits for "paraphilias," I get no mention of it here, I see some mention of something related to courtship here (and in fact very similar information, except related in somewhat more general terms, though it does seem to imply it is strictly a paraphilia of males), and no mention of courtship disorder here. So at best, this seems a vague association of certain paraphilias and a theory that states these are impossible in women or that women never have these paraphilias. That sounds okay, but again the views need attribution and so perhaps I should isolate and discuss specific instances of this.
  • If Langevin is a notable exception, and this is indeed a theory, then there seems to be no reason not to include Langevin's position. It would indeed help the article's bent, and the WP:NPOV issues. If you have a source that states that dozens of authorities support the theory, that of course should be included as well.
  • How about a title, Male-only paraphilias. That would more accurately reflect the content.
  • Indeed more third-party would be welcome. Again, perhaps the problems lie with the slant of specific passages. I will attempt to isolate them. Blackworm (talk) 19:29, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, perhaps more information to contextualize this theory for the reader would be useful. How common is "courtship disorder?" How many men are said to have it? How many women? Does it vary by location? Culture? Time period? How is it dealt with by society? The only information the layperson is left with, is an impression that men somehow are inclined to brutally rape women and gain pleasure from their suffering. I'm not sure that is generally accepted. Blackworm (talk) 19:38, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
  1. Regarding "Nearly entirely of males?...Which is it?": You are free to disagree with me (and the existing research) all you like, but antagonistic word-play is not going to get either of us, nor this page, anywhere. It is the paraphilias that are nearly entirely male (as I said). Of all the paraphilias, only one (masochism) appears to exist in women (as I said). Masochism is not one of the paraphilias included in courtship disorder, leaving courtship disorder a disorder of males only...as I said.
  2. Regarding "I'm looking for more third-party sources discussing this as a recognized paraphilia." Courtship disorder is not a paraphilia, and I did not say that it was. Courtship disorder, goes the theory, is an underlying problem that results in symptoms of one or more of the specific paraphilias named (exhibitionism, voyeurism, etc.). Nonetheless, to add what you said you are having trouble finding, I have added several high-end, entirely third party RS's citing courtship disorder theory. There are many more, and they are all included in the google search here. It is unfortunate that you did not probe further than what you said you did.
  3. Regarding "no mention of courtship disorder here." This argument is not particularly lucid. The website you cite is the professional practice website for a forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Steve Hucker. Not only is Hucker an advocate of the courtship disorder theory, he has even published on the topic (co-authoring with Kurt Freund, the creator of the concept: Freund, K., Scher, H., & Hucker, S. (1983). The courtship disorders. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12, 369-379.) I am perfectly happy to respond to any comment or criticism you have, but I think it only fair for me to ask you to slow down a bit and put a little more effort into researching what you are claiming before you claim it and fault me for not seeing things your way.
  4. Langevin is not, in my opinion, a notable exception. Because he is the single dissent against an otherwise unanimity of supporters, he is, in my opinion, FRINGE in his opposition.
  5. The phrase "male-only paraphilias" does not better reflect the content. In fact, the phrase is redundant, analogous to a a title like "testicular cancer in males."
  6. If you would like to try to look up epidemiological studies on courtship disorder, I would certainly encourage you to do so. Such information would certainly improve the page. I do not believe there exists any rule requiring such sections in order for a WP page on the topic to exist, however.
— James Cantor (talk) 22:13, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
You claim that "male-only paraphilias" is redundant, yet simultaneously claim that the paraphilia masochism is present in women. This is a contradiction. I am trying to remove contradictions from Wikipedia. Could you please rephrase? Thank you. Blackworm (talk) 23:26, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the source of the confusion is that you believe the title "male-only paraphilias" or "male paraphilias" implies all paraphilias are male. Thus I propose the title Paraphilias in men or broadly Gender-based paraphilias. Also, I am attempting to understand other things you, and the authors published in reliable sources are claiming; for example, are you claiming that exhibitionism, one of the paraphilias mentioned, is unknown in women? Do you have a source for that statement? Is the question itself rendered irrelevant by a similar definition of "exhibitionism" as being male-only? Blackworm (talk) 00:50, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

No, I said that "male-only paraphilias" is redundant on this page, which discussions only the paraphilias that comprise courtship disorder (exhibitionism, voyeurism, toucherism, frotteurism, telephone scatologia, and biastophilia); masochism is not on the list. (Incidentally, the number of women who have masochism are outnumbered by men by about 20:1.)

Neither the title Paraphilias in men nor the title Gender-based paraphilias describe the content of this page or that section. Sources for exhibitionism as male-only are very many. The best known is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (which also includes the 20:1 statistic for sexual masochism).

I take it from your silence about the other issues that you found the new text, new references, and explanations I provided in response to your prior questions to be satisfactory.
— James Cantor (talk) 13:15, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Just to be crystal clear: are you claiming, here, that (A) exhibitionism, voyeurism, toucherism, frotteurism, telephone scatologia, and biastophilia do not exist (0.00000000%) in women, as the article now states? Or is the article incorrect, and (B) at least some of these paraphilias exist in women? A, or B? I suspect the answer is (B).
You are using "male-only" and "20:1 ratio" interchangably -- these are not equivalent ideas. What are the ratios for voyeurism? Exhibitionism? Where are the sources? How common is "courtship disorder?" What reliable source states the percentage of men afflicted with "courtship disorder?" This article's claim that these paraphilias only exist in men is challenged and unverified. I personally have known many women who are voyeurs and exhibitionists. 28% of Internet porn surfers are women (or is that not voyeurism?).[1] You aren't going to convince me that these "paraphilias" are the exclusive domain of men -- the best you can do is link to some hard sources that specifically claim so, and reproduce the exact quote here, such that we may state their unlearned view in this encyclopedia and attribute that view to that reliable source.
And no, my silence on the other issues is only due to the pressing, urgent need to address this contradiction, i.e. the patently false, arguably misandric information stated as fact in the article. Blackworm (talk) 18:26, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't see anything about exhibitionism being defined as "male-only" in the DSM-IV. Please quote the sentence in the DSM where you believe this claim is made, with the page number. Blackworm (talk) 18:31, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
"In terms of the technical definition of exhibitionism, almost all reported cases involve males. A number of mental health professionals, however, have noted that gender bias may be built into the standard definition. Some women engage in a form of exhibitionism by undressing in front of windows as if they are encouraging someone to watch them. In addition, wearing the lowcut gowns favored by some models and actresses have been described as socially sanctioned exhibitionism. One textbook description of exhibitionism says 'women exhibit everything but the genitals; men, nothing but.'"[2] I'm sure you're as happily surprised by this information as I am. I'd like to see your sources claiming all reported cases involve males, as is currently stated or implied by this article. Please bring quotes from sources saying women cannot be voyeurs nor exhibitionists. Blackworm (talk) 18:45, 27 January 2009 (UTC)


I am not claiming anything. I am citing RS's, in accordance with WP:V, and the RS's say that courtship disorder is a phenomenon of males. If you have an RS that says something else, then let’s integrate it. What you personally have experienced is irrelevant (as is what I personally have experienced).

To highlight a point that seems to keep getting lost: The page does not say that paraphilias are disorders of males. The page says (as the RS’s say) that courtship disorder is a disorder of males:

“Voyeurism, exhibitionism, making obscene telephone calls, toucheurism frotteurism, or an erotic preference for rape IN MEN who are not really sadistic…” (p. 172 of Freund, K. (1988). Courtship disorder: Is the hypothesis valid? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 528, 172–182.)
“We tested the senior author’s hypothesis that, IN HUMAN MALES, several anomalies in preferred erotic activity are closely interrelated and can be seen as modes of one and the same ‘underlying’ disturbance” (p. 369 of Freund, K., Scher, H., & Hucker, S. (1983). The courtship disorders. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12, 369–379.
“Freund’s insight was that several paraphilias seem to constitute an exaggerated or distorted form of normal MALE responses for a particular phase” (p. 118 of Lalumière, M., Harris, G. T., Quinsey, V. L., & Rice, M. E. (2005). The causes of rape: Understanding individual differences in male propensity for sexual aggression. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
“Freund thought these distortions reflect disturbances in a MALE mating system that consisted of four phases” (p. 120 of Seto, M. C. (2008). Pedophilia and sexual offending against children: Theory, assessment, and intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

All I have done was to convey on the page that which is contained in the RS’s. You are, of course, entirely within your rights not to believe what is on the page or in the RS’s, but you exceed your rights to want to change the page according to your beliefs rather than what is in RS’s. That said, I have no opposition to integrating into the page RS’s that say that courtship disorder is not a disorder only of males.

Your statement that “You aren't going to convince me that these ‘paraphilias’ are the exclusive domain of men” is unfortunate. It suggests that no number of sources I produce will be of any good. So, I suggest that we seek a WP:third opinion. Currently, the main page here says in two places that courtship disorder is a disorder of males. Write out what you those sentences should say instead, and we’ll let another editor provide a fresh point of view.
— James Cantor (talk) 19:27, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

I will go ahead an prepare the request for a WP:third opinion as per WP:silence. — James Cantor (talk) 15:08, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Hello, I am responding to your request for a third opinion. First, to be sure that I'm clear on the previous discussion, is the following correct?
The paraphilias listed above (exhibitionism, voyeurism, toucherism, frotteurism, telephone scatologia, and biastophilia) occur most often in men, but not exclusively. Courtship disorder is a theorized underlying condition that may be the root cause for these paraphilias appearing in men. This is supported by these specific paraphilias co-occurring together more often than with others, suggesting a common source. While these paraphilias do occur in women, they would arise from some factor other than courtship disorder.
Not all of the journals that your sources come from were available in full text online from my university, but I was able to skim through some of them. Is it true that sources 11-14 are describing the statistical co-occurrence of these paraphilias without mentioning courtship disorder as an explanatory factor, while 15-19 are ascribing the co-occurrence to a root cause, such as courtship disorder among others? If so, I think I see your intent, James, but I also see what Blackworm's objection was. What if you split that first sentence a bit like this:
Statistically in men, the paraphilias inside courtship disorder spectrum co-occur with each other more frequently than with paraphilias outside the courtship disorder spectrum.[11-14] Courtship disorder offers an underlying common cause for these paraphilias in men to explain this co-occurrence [here cite one of Freund's papers that make this connection].
This splits the reporting of a statistical phenomenon in 11-14 from its explanation by Freund, which is what I think Blackworm found bothersome.
Secondly, regarding the gender-typed definition, since courtship disorder is theorized based on the statistical co-occurrence of this set of paraphilias in men, does a similar co-occurrence not exist in women, thus there is no evidence of an underlying cause in women? If this is true, it would help to make this point explicitly.
Finally, as far as balance goes, when I was reading some of [18], they list courtship disorder as one of several models for explaining these paraphilias. The section on courtship disorder is followed by one discussing a possible obsessive-compulsive explanation, for instance. Since the article here even says courtship disorder is "one of the predominant models", maybe we could throw some links to other models in the last section as well, to provide balance. Would that be helpful, Blackworm? AlekseyFy (talk) 22:14, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, AlekseyFy; that was extremely helpful. I will try dividing the sentence as you suggested.

Incidentally, I am very impressed with the thought and effort you put into your comment. I have not run into many editors who look up the cited refs before making their comments.

Regarding the gender-typed definition, it is not the exactly case that courtship disorder is meant only to explain patterns in men while leaving patterns in women unexplained. Rather, there is no consensus among experts about whether the paraphilias comprising Courtship Disorder ‘’ever’’ occur in women. A handful of case studies have appeared in the literature (because such cases are so rare, each merits a case report), but experts always debate whether such women actually have a paraphilia or have some other disorder that is masquerading as a paraphilia.
— James Cantor (talk) 20:42, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Nearly forgot: OCD has never been a widely described explanation for the paraphilias, but John Money's love map concept is probably the next best known behind Courtship disorder. So, I have also added this to page as well (and the wikilinks for it).
— James Cantor (talk) 20:55, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Other comments[edit]

I'm an uninvolved editor, but I'm not responding as part of the 3O process. To avoid interrupting the 3O discussion, I've added section headings to separate comments by others.

Regarding the question of if the term applies only to males, I don't have access to most of the sources, so instead of reading those, I did Google searches to find articles that I could access. After checking around a couple dozeon sources, all of the ones I read specifically discussed courtship disorder with regards to males; I did not find even one that discussed the disorder as applying to females. --Jack-A-Roe (talk) 22:14, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Quote from article: 'According to the courtship disorder hypothesis, there is a species-typical courtship process in humans consisting of four phases.[3][4] These phases are: “(1) looking for and appraising potential sexual partners; (2) pretactile interaction with those partners, such as by smiling at and talking to them; (3) tactile interaction with them, such as by embracing or petting; (4) and then sexual intercourse.”' How's that a 'species-typical courtship process in humans'? Apart from the examples of smiling and talking for phase 2, this phased courtship process could apply to any virtualy any mammal or bird. --Gloriousgee (talk) 21:50, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Too complicated[edit]

The language used in this article is too difficult to understand for a layperson. Wikipedia is not a scientific journal and needs to be understandable to users of a general encyclopedia. 98.165.151.225 (talk) 22:39, 17 August 2011 (UTC)