Genital exhibitionism is usually an act performed by a male who shows his naked genitals in a more or less public place to an unsuspecting and/or unwilling female. He may or may not masturbate to climax. About half do so. The occurrence of such behavior in females is rare and when it occurs, it has usually been asssociated with mental retardation or mental illness3637. Some men, especially exhibitionists, may argue that women expose but it is socially acceptable. The traditional burlesque strip show usually presents a host of females who disrobe for a predominantly male audience. Moreover, women in general are allowed to show varying amounts of their breasts in public places without penalty as well. Some patients have expressed anger over this apparent injustice. Mr. N, a university student charged for the first time with indecent exposure opened his initial clinical interview:
Mr. N: I'm here because I exposed and it's damn unjust! She could show me her body but I can't do it. It's ok for her to have her dress cut so low it leaves nothing to your imagination and she can walk the streets but let me do it once and wham! Into jail I go. You tell me why they should get away with it and I can't!
(LATER). . . . . .
Tell me, are strippers exhibitionists? I think they are and the law protects them. I'm an upright citizen but it doesn't protect me!
Indecent exposure is among the most common sexual offenses but the severity of this problem is viewed differently in various locales and times87. Frequently, it is considered a nuisance rather than a serious crime. It is