Coinage of the term paraphilia (paraphilie) has been credited to Friedrich Salomon Krauss in 1903, and it entered the English language in 1913, in reference to Krauss by urologist William J. The term comes from the Greek παρά (para) "beside" and φιλία (-philia) "friendship, love".In the late 19th century, psychologists and psychiatrists started to categorize various paraphilias as they wanted a more descriptive system than the legal and religious constructs of sodomy As such, the term sexual perversion or the epithet pervert have historically referred to gay men, as well as other non-heterosexuals (people who fall out of the perceived norms of sexual orientation).

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By the mid-20th century, mental health practitioners began formalizing "deviant sexuality" classifications into categories.

Originally coded as 000-x63, homosexuality was the top of the classification list (Code 302.0) until the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1974.

The fun of the game came from catching the bachelors off-guard and watching them stammer their way into banter that sounded smooth in their heads but came out as desperate and confused.

After only a few minutes of questions and some gentle ribbing from host Jim Lange, the bachelorette would choose one suitor to accompany her on a network-provided dream date (with a network-provided chaperone, naturally), while the duds received “lovely parting gifts,” that classic game show kiss-off.

Martin Kafka writes, "Sexual disorders once considered paraphilias (e.g., homosexuality) are now regarded as variants of normal sexuality." A 2012 literature study by clinical psychologist James Cantor, when comparing homosexuality with paraphilias, found that both share "the features of onset and course (both homosexuality and paraphilia being life-long), but they appear to differ on sex ratio, fraternal birth order, handedness, IQ and cognitive profile, and neuroanatomy".

The research then concluded that the data seemed to suggest paraphilias and homosexuality as two distinct categories, but regarded the conclusion as "quite tentative" given the current limited understanding of paraphilias.

Parents need to know that this long-running dating show offers exaggerated and dangerous ideas of what adult relationships are like.