Fetish (or fetich) is a term which originated in anthropology and which is used to describe a physical object which is assumed to have some kind of "magical" powers (e.g., amulets, talismans, etc.)
Psychiatry, as it was then trying (and still is trying, so far fairly unsuccessfully) to establish itself in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a real science (one based on empirical research , rather than simply on armchair philosophizing (see Wikipedia) adopted the word (as another example of psychobabble), and then applied it to human behaviors (not simply to objects) which the psychiatrists, for moral reasons, wished to "medicalize" or "demonize". "Fetishes" were categorized by the psychiatrists within another artificial category, paraphilias--a category which was another attempt to "medicalize" or "demonize" behaviors which the psychiatrists did not (on moral grounds) "approve of."
Fetishes are normal, though unusual behaviors (eating snails is also "normal"--but unusual--behavior, and being blond and blue-eyed is also a normal, but unusual characteristic outside of Scandinavian countries. But these are not called "fetishes").
Being sexually attracted to younger people, including prepubescent children, is also normal, though unusual, behavior. <ref><nowiki><sup>Filip on BoyChat gives references for this--this must be Googled for<sup><nowiki></ref>. But the psychiatrists have condemned this behavior, and they also support legal prohibitions on this behavior. Psychiatrists therefore allow their morality to influence what is supposed to be their impartial "scientific study" of human behavior!
- Something which is believed to possess, contain, or cause spiritual or magical powers; an amulet or a talisman. Template:Defdate
- Something sexual or nonsexual, such as an object or a part of the body, which arouses sexual desire or is necessary for one to reach full sexual satisfaction. Template:Defdate
- I know a guy who has a foot fetish.
- Template:Label An irrational, or abnormal fixation or preoccupation. Template:Defdate
- 1933: We have a feeling that it must be "honest" work, because it is hard and disagreeable, and we have made a sort of fetish of manual work. -- George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, Ch. XXII, pg. 117 (Harvest / Harcourt paperback edition).
- (to be added)
- Wikipedia, of course, follows "the party line" and (mistakenly) assumes that psychiatry is a "science," so beware as you read this article: