Fear of being touched

The fear of being touched (also known as aphephobia, haphephobia, haphophobia, hapnophobia, haptephobia, and haptophobiacn|date=October 2007) is a rare specific phobia that involves the fear of touching or of being touched. It is an acute exaggeration of the normal tendencies to protect one's personal space, expressed as a fear of contamination or of the invasion, and extending even to people whom its sufferers know well. [cite book|title=An Excess of Phobias and Manias|author=John G. Robertson|pages=95|date=2003|publisher=Senior Scribe Publications|id=ISBN 096309193X] cite book|title=How Humans Relate: A New Interpersonal Theory|author=John Birtchnell|pages=142|date=1996|publisher=Psychology Press|id=ISBN 0863774326]

Sometimes the fear is restricted specifically, or predominantly, to being touched by people of the opposite sex. In women, this is often associated with a fear of sexual assault. Dorais reports that many boys who have been the victims of sexual abuse have a fear of being touched, quoting one victim who describes being touched as something that "burns like fire", causing him to freeze up or to lash out. [cite book|title=Don't Tell: The Sexual Abuse of Boys|author=Michel Dorais|pages=84|date=2002|publisher=McGill-Queen's Press — MQUP|id=ISBN 0773522611]


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