NCSF is proud to announce that 3,241 people signed the DSM Revision Petition from June 2008 to December 2009. The petition is now closed and has been sent to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the members of the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V). Thank you to everyone who participated in this historic effort!
The diagnoses in the DSM-TR-IV subject people who practice BDSM, fetishes and cross-dressing to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. NCSF often sees individuals who suffer distress and impairment in their social and occupational lives (ie. interpersonal difficulties) because their desires conflict with current societal standards. These standards stem in a large part from the DSM. itself: pathologizing unusual sexual interests has led to more discrimination and discouraged individuals from seeking treatment for physical and mental health problems. This codification of "cultural aversion" was the same reason that ego-dystonic homosexuality was included in the DSM, and then removed when it was finally recognized as such by the APA.
Some of the comments made on the petition include:
#604: "BDSM is no more an illness or dysfunction than boxing, skydiving or participating in any extreme sport."
#1680: "I am all for removing these biases from legitimate psychiatry. It has ruined a friend of mine as for 8 years he has felt ashamed, depressed and self destructive because some "therapist" diagnosed him as sexually deviant and egodystonic and told him to repress his urges."
#1902: "Psychiatry should serve human wellness, not police human diversity."
#2224: "Historically, diagnoses of insanity have been used to marginalize those with unusual sexual preferences. This has to stop."
#2566: "I just had an acquaintance lose custody of her child to her now-vengeful ex due to "kink" and a bad judge. It's time to take more bias out of the DSM."
"The politicization of sexuality is common in this country," says Leigha Fleming, Board Chair of NCSF. "There is no basis in scientific fact for the categorization of BDSM and affiliated behaviors as inherently pathological or unhealthy. Social conservatives shouldn't be allowed to carry their agenda into the DSM. It wasn't appropriate when homosexuality was classified as a disorder by the APA and it's not correct now for the DSM to classify consensual adult sexual expression like BDSM, cross dressing, etc. as disorder. The DSM was never meant to be a political weapon used to marginalize sexual minorities. The overwhelming response by our constituents necessitates our involvement in this critical issue."
To see the hundreds of comments that petitioners made on the petition, click here: www.thepetitionsite.com/1/DSMrevisionpetition
To find out more about the DSM and the Paraphilias section, read the NCSF & ITCR: The Foundation for NCSF's "White Paper on the DSM Revision" at www.ncsfreedom.org
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According to the affidavit, the woman remembers Jetton hitting her on the face very hard, then waking up and lying on the floor with Jetton choking her. She then recalled waking up and having sex with Jetton in the bedroom, then waking up the next morning with Jetton in her bed.
The section on deviant desires, to take one example, is denounced by advocates for alternative sexuality as stigmatizing those whose lusts, no matter how unusual, are harmless, or those whose erotic play, no matter how unsettling, is consensual. Should a man with a foot fetish be branded as mentally ill? Should a woman who finds ecstasy in being elaborately bound and enduring denigration or pain? Should such people be labeled with psychiatric diseases, though the rest of their lives have no serious dysfunction? Until 1973, homosexuality was among the D.S.M.’s disorders, and critics of the present chapter point to the condemnation the volume once inflicted on gay men and lesbians — condemnation that both reflected and bolstered the prevailing cultural perspective — by way of arguing that the current manual, the D.S.M.-IV, is full of unfounded and damaging sexual judgments. Many on the panel, which probably won’t, in the end, do much in the way of deleting conditions, maintain that the chapter on sexuality and gender identity doesn’t brand people too readily with disease. They note that, aside from exceptions like patients with pedophilia, only those who are distressed meet the threshold for diagnosis. In turn, the critics respond that such distress stems not from within the individual but from the infliction of societal standards, from the culture’s disapproval and aversion and therefore, in part, from the D.S.M. itself. This, they emphasize, was why the A.P.A. finally removed a last remnant of the homosexuality diagnosis — what was known as “ego-dystonic” homosexuality — in 1987.