There are different theories related to exhibitionistic behaviors, many stemming from the psychoanalytic camp. They suggest that childhood trauma (e.g., sexual abuse) or significant childhood experiences can manifest itself in exhibitionistic behavior.
This disorder is characterized by either intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors in which the individual exposes his or her genitals to an unsuspecting stranger. To be considered diagnosable, the fantasies, urges, or behaviors must cause significant distress in the individual or be disruptive to his or her everyday functioning.
Treatment typically involves psychotherapy aimed at uncovering and working through the underlying cause of the behavior. Medications can at times be helpful to assist the client in resisting urges, but are typically not utilized in treatment.
Prognosis is good although often there are other issues which may surface once the behaviors are extinguished. If this is the case, these issues must be worked through as well.