A scientific definition of a concept should attempt to be as objective and value free as possible. This is not easy in the study of sexual behavior which is often laden with emotional and moral values. Older terms like "pervert" evoke a reaction even today. With current political movements to liberalizing attitudes toward sex, one is now faced with a battle of rhetoric. Ten years ago, "sexual deviation" seemed like a nonperjorative statistical concept but some individuals have deemed it unacceptable too. Terms such as "sexual variant" and "sexual anomaly" are currently popular although it may be just a matter of time before they also assume prejudicial connotation.
In practice, I have found the term "sexual anomaly" first suggested by Hirschfeld6 and defined as "unusual sexual behavior" is nonthreatening to patients seeking help. The therapist's attitude to the sexual behavior, of course, is more important than the words he may use and it often is conveyed implicitly in his therapeutic approach. The term "sexual anomaly" has been selected for use in this book because it covers a wide range of behavior and it is familiar to therapists and theorists working in the area. It implies that the sexual behavior in question is not typical of the general population.
One is faced with a dilemma in studying sexual anomalies. Although theories abound about their origin and nature, systematic controlled em-