When Kinks Come to Life: An Exploration of Paraphilic Concordance and Underlying Mediators

Melissa de Roos*, NICHOLAS LONGPRE, Josanne (JMD) van Dongen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Paraphilia is defined as a condition in which sexual excitement relies on fantasizing about and / or participating in unusual sexual behavior. Although recent studies have assessed the concordance between paraphilic interests and paraphilic behaviors, few studies have studied which individual traits and demographics predict engaging in paraphilic behaviors, or indeed, the level of concordance between arousal and behavior. The current study replicated and expanded Joyal and Carpentier (2022). We assessed concordance between paraphilic arousal and behavior. Further, we assessed the impact of Dark Tetrad traits, impulsivity, social desirability and demographic variables on engaging in paraphilic behaviors using self-report questionnaires in a sample from the general population and FetLife. Finally, we were interested in whether these individual differences moderated the concordance between arousal and behavior. Results indicated high concordance between paraphilic arousal and behavior for all paraphilias except pedophilia and hebephilia. Younger, male participants showed higher were more likely to engage in various paraphilias than women and older participants. Machiavellianism was linked with lower paraphilic behavior, particularly impulsive or risky ones. Psychopathy predicted engaging in more deviant or illegal paraphilias, whereas sadism only showed an association for engaging in frotteurism and narcissism was not a predictor for engaging in any paraphilia. For several paraphilias, individual traits moderated the effect of arousal on behavior. Implications of these findings and future directions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Early online date28 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2024


  • Paraphilias
  • Dark Tetrad
  • Concordance
  • Gender Difference
  • Arousal


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