Exhibitionism Meaning: Definition, Levels, Causes, Treatment, Ways to Deal with, and Law Enforcement in Indonesia

Exhibitionism Meaning – When watching movies, has Sinaumed’s ever seen a scene where a man suddenly appears and then shows off his genitals to a woman who is passing by? Or even Sinaumed’s was a victim of this obscene act? If so, the case of exhibitionism, aka exhibitionism, is indeed very troubling for many people, because the victims can feel disgusted and end up traumatized. In the case of exhibitionism, the perpetrators are usually men who target women as victims, by showing off their genitals suddenly, both in quiet and crowded places. Although in fact, there are also women who are involved in this exhibitionism case.

Some people may think that the perpetrators of exhibitionism are crazy people. Even though that’s not necessarily the case, because the act of exhibitionism and the disturbance of exhibitionism are in fact different, even though both of them show their vital tools suddenly in a public space. Yep, exhibitionism is included in mental disorders that are classified as paraphilias, aka obsessions to perform strange sexual activities. So, what is exhibitionism? What are the levels in this exhibitionism mental disorder? Are there attempts to treat exhibitionism? How do we deal with this act of exhibitionism? So, so that Sinaumed’s understands these things, let’s look at the following review!

What Is Exhibitionism?

Basically, exhibitionism is an act of obscenity as well as a mental illness. According to Simon, obscenity is an act related to life, especially in the sexual field, which is carried out with the intention of obtaining pleasure in a way that is very contrary to the norms of decency. This obscene act was not only carried out by adults on adults, but also by adults on young children, so it was strongly opposed by religion and the state. Even the definition of obscenity has been included in The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect US, which is included in the category of “sexual assault” namely‘Contact or interaction between a child and an adult where the child is used for sexual stimulation by the perpetrator or another person who is in a position to have power or control over the victim’.

There are lots of examples of obscenity, ranging from physical contact, making a person or child view pornography, using a person or child to make pornography, to showing an adult’s genitals to a person or child. The last obscene act is called exhibitionism. Previously, it was explained that this act of obscenity was strongly opposed by the state, as stipulated in the Criminal Code Articles 289 to 296. Yep, the perpetrators of sexual abuse will actually get the sanctions that have been set, namely imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years. Unfortunately, in the field, this crime is still considered trivial and often occurs anywhere.

This act of exhibitionism has actually been included in the category of obscenity, which is interpreted as a deviant sexual fantasy and is characterized by the act of showing one’s genitals to other people. In the field, most of the perpetrators of exhibitionism incidents are men, but it is possible that female perpetrators can too.

For male offenders, they tend to find satisfaction, especially when they see the victim (usually a woman) shocked after seeing their genitals. That’s why many people often warn us to stay normal when we become victims of this exhibitionism. Meanwhile, for female perpetrators, they will find satisfaction when they see their victims feel aroused after watching their genitals, breasts, or buttocks, which are intentionally shown just like that. Yep, someone who suffers from exhibitionism will later get sexual pleasure when he shows his genitals in front of other people, then the other person shows a reaction, ranging from shock to fear.

This act of exhibitionism has actually entered into a psychological disorder, you know… In fact, the incident was not only in a quiet place, but also a crowded place with random victims. In some cases of exhibitionism where the perpetrators are men, it is not uncommon to be followed by acts of masturbation. Due to the large number of victims who feel harassed to form lasting trauma from this action, exhibitionism is categorized as a sexual crime which is then categorized as a violation of criminal law.

Just a little trivia , the act of exhibitionism which has clearly violated the norms of decency by showing off their genitals to other people is included in the category of violations of criminal law. The criminal law is stated in article 281 of the Criminal Code which reads:

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“Threatened with imprisonment for a maximum of 2 (two) years and 8 (eight) months or a maximum fine of Rp. 4500.00 (four thousand five hundred rupiah): 

  • Whoever deliberately and openly violates morality. 
  • Anyone who deliberately and in front of others who is there against their will violates morality.”

Exhibitionism, which is included in the category of paraphilic disorders, aka sexual deviation, is generally limited to showing the genitals. While sexual contact with the victim is very rare. Reporting from hellosehat , as many as 2-4% of exhibitionists are male. Although it is also possible that women can also be the perpetrators. One example of a case where women are perpetrators of exhibitionism is the arrest of the owner of the Siskaeee account who deliberately exposed his genitals at the airport in December 2021.

Diagnosis Pelaku Exhibitionism

In fact, someone who has this sexual disorder can be diagnosed medically, you know… at least has the following conditions.

  • Strong sexual arousal appears in the form of sexual fantasies, intentions or actions to show genitals repeatedly, for about 6 months.
  • The emergence of sexual urges and actions to show intimate organs and sexual activity without the consent of the person concerned.
  • The existence of this exhibitionism behavior causes problems that can interfere with, to hinder daily activities.

Level of Exhibitionism

An exhibitionist must always want to show off his vital organs to certain people, even the targets are random. They are not afraid of social sanctions, because for them the most important thing is that sexual stimulation can be conveyed.

Based on Targets

Based on the target, this exhibitionism action has several levels, namely:

1. To Children Before Puberty

Exhibitionists at this level will usually be sexually aroused when they succeed in showing their genitals to children who haven’t even reached puberty yet. They think that if they do this to children, there will be no problem. In fact, this level of exhibitionism has been included in a criminal offense, to be precise in Law No. 23 of 2002 Article 82 concerning Child Protection, which reads:

“Anyone who intentionally commits violence or threatens violence, forces, commits deception, series of lies, or induces a child to commit or permits obscene acts to be carried out, shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 15 (fifteen) years and a minimum of 3 (three) ) years and a maximum fine of Rp. 300,000,000.00 (three hundred million rupiahs) and a minimum of Rp. 60,000,000.00 (sixty million rupiahs).”

2. To Adults

The next level is that exhibitionists will feel aroused after showing their genitals to adults. This action is usually carried out in random places, ranging from narrow alleys to crowded places. Target victims are also random, usually people who are passing by.

3. To Pre-Puberty Children and Adults

The third level is that the perpetrators of exhibitionism will not discriminate against the age of their victims. Because, they will feel aroused if the victims are pre-pubertal children and adults. The reaction of the victim, be it shock or fear, will also make his sexual fantasy more aroused.

Based on How

The perpetrators of this exhibitionism not only show their vital parts, but also their sexual activity to other people at random.

1. Anasyrma

Exhibitionism actors will carry out their actions by lifting their skirts when they are not wearing underwear.

2. Martymachlia

The perpetrators of exhibitionism will show their sexual activity to others. For example the activity of masturbation to have sex.

3. Candaulism

The perpetrators of exhibitionism will deliberately expose their partner’s body so that others can see it and are aroused by the reactions of these other people.

4. Telephone Scatology

The perpetrators of exhibitionism tend to have phone sex without the consent of the victim.

Factors Causing Exhibitionism

Many things are the causal factors of an exhibitionism actor which is certainly related to how their social and psychological environment is. The following are the causative factors that encourage a person to experience sexual exhibitionism disorder.

1. Psychological Disorders

Someone who experiences psychological disorders can occur because their psychological development during childhood is not perfect. Especially if you have a mother who is always dominant and protective, this can be the reason for this act of exhibitionism, because sufferers cannot interact with the opposite sex.

Those who experience exhibitionism are also suitable to be categorized as narcissistic disorders, because they feel that they are the center of attention so that their appearance will be considered “different” and invites attention. Meanwhile, there are several psychological problems that can cause a person to become an exhibitionist, namely:

  • Sex addiction
  • Tend to be antisocial
  • Sexually attracted to children or teenagers (pedophilia)
  • Alcohol addiction

2. Social Environment

The environment where you live and school certainly plays an important role in a person’s psychological development. Therefore, the social environment is very influential in this deviation of sexual exhibitionism. An exhibitionism usually grows without getting a sense of empathy from the people around him.

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Not only having parents who are protective, but also those who often insult, act harshly, often criticize, often embarrass them, can also cause childhood trauma. Due to this trauma, excessive narcissism emerged so that when he grew up, he wanted to be noticed and admired by others.

Treatment of an Exhibitionism

So, can a person with exhibitionism be cured? Of course you can, but it requires a long treatment time. In addition, there are many ways to treat exhibitionism, ranging from psychotherapy to taking certain drugs.

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy that will be given to an exhibitionist is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to find out what are the roots of the problems that can trigger the emergence of this exhibitionism sexual deviation. This therapy will later solve the problem into 5 aspects, namely:

  •  Situation
  • Thought
  • Feelings
  • Physical Sensation
  • Action

2. Group Counseling

The next treatment that can be done is group counseling consisting of 5-15 people with exhibitionism. Yep, later they will meet for a few hours every week to provide support to one another in an effort to control their sexual behavior.

For ordinary people, this treatment does seem strange because it brings exhibitionism actors together. But for them, communication from the point of view of fellow exhibitionism sufferers will provide new perspectives for each other. Through this, it can make it easier to control their deviant sexual behavior.

3. Consuming certain drugs

If an exhibitionism sufferer is aware that he has a sexual disorder, then of course he will come to a psychiatrist. So, the psychiatrist will give you a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. These antidepressant drugs are very useful for reducing libido and reducing orgasms. Usually, the effectiveness of the drug reaches 60-70 percent.

The psychiatrist may also prescribe the drugs leuprolide and medroxyprogesterone acetate to lower testosterone. Little information, the hormone testosterone is very instrumental in controlling sexual desire in a person.

How to Cope with Exhibitionism

When dealing with exhibitionists, our reactions are sure to be shocked, disgusted, scared, to tears. After the perpetrator left, we just felt a very deep trauma from the action. So, how do we deal with this act of exhibitionism when walking in a public place? Reporting from Sehatq , there are several ways to deal with this act of exhibitionism, namely:

  • Try to stay calm and not give any reaction. This is because the perpetrators of exhibitionism tend to want a reaction from the attention they have done.
  • Express indifference or annoyance.
  • Position your body as if avoiding or turning your back to the perpetrator of exhibitionism. Give the impression that you don’t care about his actions.
  • After moving away from the location where the exhibitionism occurred, immediately call the police.
  • Don’t stay silent, approach, or even attack exhibitionism actors.
  • If caught by exhibitionists, act as if they have a seizure because it can make them feel scared.
  • For children and adolescents, teach them to shout “fire” if they are sexually assaulted.

Criminal Law Enforcement Against Exhibitionism Perpetrators

As previously explained, this act of exhibitionism has received great attention from the legal system in Indonesia. There are quite a number of statutory laws that stipulate that exhibitionism is a criminal offence. What’s more, the act of exhibitionism is already included in the category of obscenity which seriously violates the norms of decency.

Criminal sanctions for this exhibitionism crime can be seen in Article 36 of Law no. 44 of 2008 concerning Pornography, reads:

“Anyone who shows himself or another person in a show or in public that depicts nudity, sexual exploitation, intercourse, or other pornographic contents as referred to in Article 10 shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 10 (ten) years and/or a fine. 5,000,000,000.00 (five billion rupiah) at most.”

Not only that, this act of exhibitionism is also regulated in Law Number 35 of 2014 Article 82 (previously Law No.23 of 2002) concerning Child Protection. Yep, this act of exhibitionism will receive legal scrutiny if it makes children the victims, which reads:

“Anyone who deliberately commits violence or threatens violence, forces, commits deception, a series of lies, or induces a child to commit or permits obscene acts to be carried out, shall be punished with imprisonment for a maximum of 15 (fifteen) years and a minimum of 3 (three) ) years and a maximum fine of Rp. 300,000,000.00 (three hundred million rupiahs) and a minimum of Rp. 60,000,000.00 (sixty million rupiahs).”

So, that’s a review of what exhibitionism is and its levels, causative factors, treatment, ways to deal with it, and the views of Indonesian law on it. If Sinaumed’s feels that he has been a victim of this exhibitionism action, we hope that the trauma you are feeling will heal soon…