DSM-5 to remove “gender identity disorder,” replace with “gender dysphoria”

Transgender symbol

Transgender symbol

The Associated Press reported today that the term “gender identity disorder” will be removed from the DSM-5, or the newest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which is expected to be released in 2013. The DSM is the guide all doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists use when diagnosing mental disorders.

The term “gender identity disorder” is included in the current edition of the DSM, and it refers to children or adults who believe that they were born as the wrong gender.

LGBT activists say the condition is not a disorder, and calling it one is offensive to those who are transgendered. “Gender identity disorder” would be replaced with “gender dysphoria,” which is defined as “emotional distress over one’s gender.”

The AP reports that supporters of this new term consider this change equivalent to when the DSM removed the word “homosexuality” as a mental disorder decades ago.

What do you think? Should there be a term change? Does the wording matter? Should it even be in the DSM?

Photo (cc) by ParaDox and republished under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.



Filed under Health, Mental Health

2 responses to “DSM-5 to remove “gender identity disorder,” replace with “gender dysphoria”

  1. I think the point is that I am not mentally ill, but the surgeons need a psychiatrist to confirm to them that I ought to have the operation, otherwise they are terrified of being sued. They confirm that I am not psychotic, that it is not a psychotic delusion that I am female, but a settled sane belief. Even if it were not in DSM, we would still have to see psychiatrists. Then, whether you call it disorder, dysphoria- well, I did suffer extreme discomfort before- or diversity, so what?

  2. It is a disorder because there is an “emotional distress”; unlike homosexuality where they are totally fine with it.

    Both terms are fine with me though. “Gender identity disorder” sounds simple so of course, scientific terminology should be complicated.

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