Bruno (1997) systematised the attraction as factitious disability disorder.
In the standard psychiatric reference Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, text revision (DSM-IV-tr), the fetish falls under the general category of "Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders" and the more specific category of paraphilia, or sexual fetishes; Desires to pretend to be disabled and acquire a disability are extensions of the pathological disorder.
About half of all devotees occasionally pretend (43 percent of Nattress , sample of 50).
Avowed "wannabes" seem to number not more than five percent of the devotee-wannabe population, though Nattress (1996) found 22 percent of his sample of 50 had wanted to become disabled.
Accordingly, Bruno (1997) puts those afflicted with versions of the paraphilia under the broad heading of Devotees, Pretenders, and Wannabes (DPWs), as used here.
Well over half of DPWs have felt this pathological attraction since childhood, as typical in paraphilias.
DPWs may press disabled partners to put their disabilities to the fore in intimate situations and exhibit them in social ones.
Sexually, some DPWs have been reported to engage in active tactile observation as much as in intercourse.
Some people with disabilities willingly participate in the fetish subculture, for example, contributing model photos (e.g., Debbie van der Putten).
Devotees, many whom have served all week, serve to take down the tents, move chairs and other activities at Mother Center after the pilgrimages end.
After the activities were completed, there was a service in the chapel.
About a quarter report discovering the paraphilia in puberty and a few in maturity.
The aforesaid has given grounds for the attraction to disability to be represented as the continuum Bruno (1997) termed factitious disability disorder.
Search for devotee dating:
Relationships between DPWs and disabled people tend to be reported as being ordinary, the attraction being sated by the fact of the partner's disability.