masochism (măs´əkĬzəm), sexual disorder in which sexual arousal is derived from subjection to physical and emotional degradation. A type of paraphilia (see perversion, sexual), masochism is explained in psychoanalysis as a destructive attitude in which the individual turns inward upon himself instead of outward upon others. It is coupled with sadism, in which sexual pleasure is derived from the infliction of pain or humiliation. The word masochism was suggested by Austrian novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose books depicted this abnormality. In recent years, a number of theorists have suggested that sadomasochism can be a healthy form of sexual arousal among consenting individuals.
See T. Weinberg and G. L. W. Kamel, S & M: Studies in Sadomasochism (1983); R. Glick and D. Meyers, Masochism (1987).
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Publication information: Article title: masochism. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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