Perverse knowledge

October 8, 2008

I feel the need to be amused or intrigued by all things not related to Worldwide Economic Meltdown Panic, so this story caught my eye:

Police are looking for a man who exposed himself on several occasions at a convenience store on Indianapolis’ south side and may be involved in other flashing incidents in the area.

 The man was dubbed the “soda pop flasher” because of the routine he goes through before exposing himself, 6News’ Rick Hightower reported.

[. . .]

Police and a clerk said the man typically comes into the store and goes to the back to the cooler for a can of soda. Outside of the view of cameras, he unzips his pants. When he gets to the counter to pay, the man exposes himself to the clerk.

 The same incident has been reported several times over the past few weeks — each of them at about 4 a.m. Clerk Jessika Blevins was working at the store during each visit.

You’ve heard of Type I and Type 2 diabetes and hepatitis, but did you know that there are Type 1 and Type 2 exhibitionists?

It has been suggested within some literature that exhibitionists can be grouped into 2 distinct types. Type 1 offenders are inhibited, posses a relatively normal personality, are anxious, experience guilt, rarely have erections or masturbate (whilst exposing themselves), and tend to feel little if any pleasure. In direct contrast, type 2 offenders tend to be more psychopathic, experience erections, pleasure, and even masturbates whilst exposing themselves (Dowling, 2000). It is these type 2 exhibitionists who are more likely to progress onto more serious sexual offences.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Type 2s are the scary ones and the Type 1s are sweet but mixed-up little fuzzballs: “The fact remains that exhibitionists are no longer ‘normal’ members of society. They have broken away from standard norms, and work on uncontrollable impulses that are unpredictable. For this reason alone, they can not be grouped in such categories as ‘dangerous’ and ‘none dangerous’ because they may change at any time.”

The piece concludes by noting that many psychologists agree that any exhibitionist who comes closer than arm’s length to the victim should be considered dangerous, which sounds like darn good advice to me.

More than you wanted to know about perverts, you say? Fine. Your 401(k) is disappearing! Your bank is closing!! Your credit card balances are all due tomorrow!!! Feel better?

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