Sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Voyeurism is the sexual interest in or practice of watching other people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other actions of a private nature.
|"Mercury and Herse", scene from The Loves of the Gods by Gian Giacomo Caraglio, showing Mercury, Herse, and Aglaulos|
The term comes from the French voir which means "to see". A male voyeur is commonly labelled as "Peeping Tom" or a "Jags", a term which originates from the Lady Godiva legend. However, that term is usually applied to a male who observes somebody secretly and, generally, not in a public space.
The American Psychiatric Association has classified certain voyeuristic fantasies, urges and behaviour patterns as a paraphilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) if the person has acted on these urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. It is described as a disorder of sexual preference in the ICD-10. The DSM-IV defines voyeurism as the act of observing "individuals, usually strangers, engaging in sexual activity, exhibitionism, or disrobing". The diagnosis as a disorder would not be given to people who experience typical sexual arousal or amusement, simply by seeing nudity or sexual activity.