As defined by the American Psychological Association (APA), the inappropriate imposition of sexuality upon a person, whether through objectification, overvaluing or -emphasizing the person’s appearance and/or sexual behavior, or some other means. In some cases, sexualization can also be a defense against uncomfortable emotions.
Example: A therapist struggles with libidinous impulses towards clients; she has confused intimacy and caring with genitality.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Nov 2008