This is an interesting point to discuss. I am shocked by hearing people talking recently that said, “Only men have weird fetishes! Women never have fetishes!” I couldn’t work out if their idea stemmed from an old fashioned view about female sexuality or they’d been reading research without a critical eye!
Yes, there is a lot of research out there on men and their fetishes! This doesn’t mean women don’t have them, it just means the scientific research has focussed on men. Whenever women with fetishes were mentioned in research it was mostly about their victimisation at the hands of those awful men with fetishes! There’s quite a bias towards studying men with fetishes (or paraphilias).
There’s another reason why women haven’t been in many fetish research papers; most research of this topic has come from convicted sex offenders. Most convicted sex offenders happen to be male.
Let’s be more specific about paraphilias shall we? They’re ‘officially’ defined as; exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, transvestic fetishism, voyeurism etc etc.
There’s a very false widespread belief that paraphilias in women rarely occur or just don’t exist. For instance, in the Manual of Pyschological Disorders, “transvestite fetishism” (their definition not mine!) outlined the essential characteristics; you had to be male and heterosexual! This is quite strange when women have historically been represented in every form of paraphilia.
A recent study identified women with a full range of paraphilias and concludes that this should come as no surprise because the more and more we research sex, the more we discover that men and women have more similarities than was previously thought! A lot of recent research on sexual fantasies consistently keeps showing us that men and women are aroused by the same themes, and this includes “unconventional sexual themes.”
So, there you have it, it’s a myth! Women have fetishes/paraphilias too!