- Category: LGBT Issues
- Published on Friday, 27 July 2012 12:36
- Written by Lara Landis
- Hits: 559
Transgender activists won a victory when the DSM-5 committee agreed to rename gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria, according to The Advocate. The news comes after a several year push to get the DSM-5 committee to change the name of gender identity disorder. Activists worried that the pathoigization of everyone who identifies as transgender may provide ammunition for socially conservative groups.
The existence of gender identity disorder was a double-edged sword. Many people received benefits from their insurance companies because they needed mecial procedures for their transition. Health insurance paid for part of the cost of an individual's prescription drugs and surgical procedures. Other people benefited from the legal status it granted them. Sometimes a spouse's transgender status was used against the individual in child custody cases.
The new guidelines prevent people who have transitioned and children who do not conform to gender stereotypes from receiving a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. It also acknowledges that not everyone who identifies as transgender wants or needs to transition.
Transgender activists have won an important victory, but Asexuals cannot expect similar treatment yet. The American Psychiatric Association's DSM-5 committee moved in a different direction when it split HSDD into two different disorders. Both of the disorders included the life-long subtype. The life-long subtype describes the life experience of many Asexual people.
Pathologization of non-heteronormative behavior is not new in the DSM. Homosexuality remained classified as a disorder until the late 1980s. Such changes normally occur slowly and are made with the proper scientific review. Allen Frances, the head of the DSM-IV task force, has criticized the current task force for failure to follow these standards.