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Atypical Sexual Behaviors

Louis R. Franzini, PhD

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Marriage & Family Therapy CE

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Atypical Sexual Behaviors is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews a variety of infrequent and atypical sexual practices. The range of extant human behavior is truly extraordinary. But, the range of sexual behaviors is exponentially more so. Some are so infrequent and atypical that we call them “bizarre.” Such sexual practices may be described by some laypersons as “sick” or “abnormal.” Even some health care professionals may label such behaviors as “paraphilic” or “psychopathological” or a major behavior or personality disorder or as simply symptomatic of very serious emotional disturbances.

This course is intended to familiarize clinicians with a variety of relatively rare sexual behaviors that they might at least occasionally encounter in their practices. Our discussion is limited to behaviors and fantasies occurring with a human partner of either sex who consents to participation without coercion. No animals or children are involved as sexual objects or partners. It is useful to be aware of what some people like to do sexually and the language typically used in the informal sexual underground. There is no need to engage in such practices personally or even to “experiment” with them to become sufficiently knowledgeable. It is also important to know where to go to learn more. Finally, this course will suggest criteria on how to make the decision on whether to treat such behaviors. Society claims an interest in an individual’s intimate practices and may sometimes invoke the criminal justice system to enforce those interests. Thus, there are ethical implications about court mandated treatment programs for behaviors that are consensual and not harmful to anyone.

Course #30-88 | 2016 | 41 pages | 26 posttest questions

Related Courses:

Learning Objectives

1. List five highly unusual sexual practices between men and women and/or same sex individuals
2. Identify the unique jargon of active members of the sexual underground who practice these bizarre behaviors
3. Demonstrate sufficient knowledge of such sexual behaviors to avoid exhibiting shock or alarm with clients
4. Compare one’s own views and traditional definitions of abnormality with the practices described in this course
5. Identify limits that society might invoke in defining the appropriateness of consensual sexual behaviors between adults
6. Name three clinical criteria to be met before treatment is offered for a “really bizarre sexual behavior”

Professional Development Resources, #1046, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 6/12/2022 - 6/12/2025. Social workers completing this course will receive 3 clinical continuing education credits.

Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346); the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (#SW-0664 - Note: New York social workers will receive 3 continuing education credits for completing this self-study course); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage & Family Therapist Board (#RCST100501 - Note: Ohio social workers completing this course will receive 3 clinical continuing education credits); the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635 - all courses are reported within two business days of completion).


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

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About the Author(s)

Louis R. Franzini, PhD, received his B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, his M.A. degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Toledo, and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. He then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavior Modification at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (now Stony Brook University). Following the postdoctoral program Dr. Franzini joined the Psychology Department at San Diego State University, where he spent his entire academic career. He retired as Emeritus Professor of Psychology. His international academic experience included appointments as Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-le-Neuve, Belgium and Senior Fellow in the School of Accountancy and Business, Human Resource and Quality Management Division at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Dr. Franzini is licensed as a psychologist in Florida and in California.

Financial: Dr. Franzini receives royalties on his books from John Wiley & Sons, Rowman and Littlefield, Square One Publishers, Sage Publications and from Professional Development Resources on sales of his courses.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists. 

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