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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Explaining Fetishes

There may be few behaviors as puzzling to the non-clinician as a fetish, which is an overwhelming interest by a man in an ordinary object like shoes, feet, an odor, or an article of clothing for it rarely afflicts women. Though apparently "crazy" there is a logic to the interest since it derives from the ealiest years of childhood when the mind is most immature and the child is easily frightened. The creation of the fetish was motivated by a sight which so terrified them that a "screen memory" had to be created to hide it in a symbol, the fetish. This protected them from remembering the overly exciting event, perhaps the sight of a naked female or of adults having sex. While virtually all adults have some irrational fear or interest only those interfering with normal functioning require treatment.

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