Voyeurism is illegal in Texas. According to PENAL § 21.17, voyeurism is when a person intends to gratify sexual desire by observing another person without that person’s consent. To be considered voyeurism, the person who is observed must be in a dwelling or building where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Voyeuristic disorder can drive individuals to commit sex offenses, such as secretly observing undressed individuals or those engaged in sexual activities. This condition typically develops during early adolescence or adulthood. Men are more likely to have the disorder than women.
It’s important to note that voyeurism is not classified as a psychological disorder. However, when a person is consumed by voyeuristic thoughts to the point where it impairs their functioning, it becomes a voyeuristic disorder. This disorder is categorized as a type of pedophilic disorder, which falls under the umbrella of paraphilic disorders. These disorders involve intense and persistent sexual interest and behaviors primarily focused on either inanimate objects or children.
Symptoms of voyeuristic disorder
The most common symptoms of voyeuristic disorder include experiencing persistent and intense sexual arousal when observing people engaged in sexual activities, feeling distressed or unable to function because of voyeuristic urges and fantasies and engaging in voyeurism without the person’s consent.
Voyeuristic disorder often co-occurs with symptoms such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse. In some cases, individuals with this condition may also develop other paraphilic disorders, including exhibitionist disorder. It’s important to note that voyeuristic disorder can quickly progress, potentially leading to engagement in sex crimes.
Fortunately, individuals with voyeuristic disorders can seek help. Early treatment can prevent the condition from escalating to a point where the person may commit a sexual offense.