Abstract this paper renders the results of research investigating the parental sensitivity experienced and personality disorders in a sample of exhibitionists. The sample contained 33 exhibitionists as well as a matched comparison group of 33 normal subjects. Results show that parental sensitivity and some personality disorders discriminate between exhibitionists and the comparison group. Avoidant and depressive personality disorders contribute significantly to the explanation of exhibitionistic behaviour. These results contribute to the explanation of this deviant sexual conduct and to the development and differentiation of the treatment of exhibitionists. Furthermore, psychological approaches to the treatment of exhibitionism (e.g., cognitive-behavioural treatment, psychotherapy in general) are limited and cannot be expected to immediately reduce risk. Interest has been expressed in medical approaches to making such individuals safer.