APA: Happy People Who Have Sexual Fetishes No Longer Have Mental Disorder

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Domina beats a submissive man at a dungeon party during the DomConLA convention in the early morning hours on May 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif.(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Domina beats a submissive man at a dungeon party during the DomConLA convention in the early morning hours on May 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif.(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

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ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC) – It was once considered taboo, but people who like to get kinky in the bedroom are not officially “crazy” anymore.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) no longer classifies sexual masochism, fetishism, transvestism, and sadism as mental disorders, according to The Daily Mail.

In order for something to be classified as a disorder, a person must “feel personal distress about their interest.” These sexual interests will be renamed in an upcoming edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The 5th edition of the manual will state that happy people with these interests do not have a mental disorder. However, the manual states if you are unhappy, you do.

In 1952, the first edition of DSM categorized homosexuality as a mental disorder. As time progressed, so did the psychiatric community as they said that people who were comfortable with their sexual orientation did not have a mental disorder. In 1973, the APA removed homosexuality from the DSM but introduced a new term, “sexual orientation disturbance” (SOD). In the third edition of DSM, published in 1980, “ego-dystonic homosexuality” replaced SOD. The DSM kept the basic principle the same: Happy homosexuals did not have a mental disorder, but unhappy ones did.

“Despite its best efforts, the DSM still allows existing sexual stigmas and social norms to define whether a sexual practice is ‘healthy’,” Jillian Keenan, who has a self-identified spanking fetish, wrote in Slate magazine. “People who are stigmatized and misunderstood, such as sexual minorities, might be unhappy – but the unhappiness itself is the problem that should be treated, not the person’s sexual identity or practice.”

The manual is due out in May.

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