Purpose: Voyeurism, the act of secretly watching an unsuspecting victim undress or engage in sexual contact, remains a relatively misunderstood phenomenon; despite its surprisingly high prevalence within forensic, clinical and general populations (Metzl, 2004). Existing research has attempted to identify the prevalence of voyeurism among different populations, and suggests that the risk factors most prominent in the development of voyeurism include substance abuse, hypersexuality, low self-control and childhood sexual abuse (Gallo, 2020). This study aimed to construct a new measure of voyeurism, that would specifically measure voyeuristic tendencies in non-clinical, non-forensic populations. The aim was to then use this scale and see how participants’ voyeurism scores related to their scores for hyper-sexuality, self-control and self-esteem.
Methods: A sample of 115 participants from the general population was recruited via social media advertisement (Facebook). An online questionnaire was used to collect demographic data and information on participants’ voyeuristic tendencies, self-esteem, self-control and hypersexuality.
Results: Three factors emerged from the factor analysis of the voyeurism scale: acceptance, exciting and harmful. The study also found that the constructed voyeurism scale could be reliably used to measure voyeuristic tendencies. Furthermore, the results suggested that higher self-control was found in the voyeur group; whereas lower self-esteem and lower hypersexuality were found in the voyeur group.
Conclusions: The results highlight the importance of investigating voyeuristic tendencies; as it seems as though they can manifest differently in comparison to other, more overt types of voyeurism. Nevertheless, further research is still needed to build on the current study and limited understanding of voyeuristic tendencies.
Keywords: Voyeuristic tendencies, voyeurism, self-control, hypersexuality, self-esteem, forensic, clinical, and risk factors.
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