Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal

Article Title

No Means Yes … If Consent Is Obtained: An Exploration into the Psychology and Legality of BDSM and Sexual Sadism


This article looks the differences between BDSM and sexual sadism through both a healthcare and legal lens. Through examination of the psychological characteristics of BDSM participants, it is shown that they are psychologically healthy adults who engage in consensual “kinky” activities, with no malicious intentions. Examining the psychological profiles of sexual sadists demonstrates that these individuals tend to have psychopathic traits and engage in such behaviour with non-consenting persons. Looking at past assault cases related to BDSM and sexual sadism demonstrates the lack of regulation and understanding in the Canadian judicial system when discussing sexual activities.

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