Exhibitionism is the name given when someone intentionally exposes, to the public, those parts of the body that are generally hidden. This can be their breasts, genitals or buttocks. There are several forms of exhibitionism including streaking, flashing, and mooning. p>
Streaking is when a person runs naked in public, and mooning is showing ones buttocks. Both of these are usually done for the shock factor or for amusement, and have no sexual intonation or intent. Flashing is the brief exposure of ones genitals; this usually does have some sexual inference.
The reasons can vary with each individual as to why they behave in this way. Some may do it to show off and cause amusement for friends or family, others to shock, and some for sexual gratification.
With sexual gratification they tend to feel a compulsion or urge to expose themselves that they have no control over. They normally spend a lot of time fantasising about it. The thought of exposing their genitals to a complete stranger arouses their sexual excitement. When they commit the act, although this can be very alarming for the person they expose themselves to, there is generally no intent to have any sexual activity at all.
Exhibitionism can be linked to many underlying causes, one of which can be childhood trauma.