Final Public Comment Period For Proposed DSM-5 Criteria Ends June 15

Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
GID Reform Advocates
http://www.gidreform.org

The American Psychiatric Association announced a third and final period of public comment on proposed diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), ending June 15.  Criteria for the draft diagnostic categories of Gender Dysphoria in Children and Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents or Adults (formerly Gender Identity Disorder, or GID) are unchanged from the second round proposal in May, 2011. The Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Workgroup of the DSM-5 Task Force only partially responded to concerns raised about the GID diagnosis by community advocates, allies and care providers. Their specific diagnostic criteria continue to characterize gender identities and expressions that differ from birth-assigned roles as pathological and therefore contradict access to medical transition care, for those who need it, rather than lower its barriers.

Worse yet, the punitive and scientifically capricious diagnosis of Transvestic Disorder (formerly Transvestic Fetishism) offers no medical justification for its continued inclusion in the diagnostic manual, despite growing insistence on its removal. Many in the trans and allied communities are outraged at defamatory “autogynephilia”/”autoandrophilia” specifiers in this diagnosis that falsely stereotype many transsexual women and men as self-obsessed sexual fetishists. An online petition, sponsored by The International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) now has over 6,700 signatures, calling for complete removal of the Transvestic Fetishism/Disorder category from the DSM.

What You Can Do Now

  1. Ask the APA to fix the Gender Dysphoria diagnosis– rejecting diagnostic criteria and categorical placement that currently contradict transition or depict transition itself as symptomatic of mental disorder. Ask them to clarify that nonconformity to birth-assigned roles and being victims of societal prejudice are not, in themselves, mental pathology. Demand that the APA remove the defamatory Transvestic Disorder diagnosis entirely. Go to the APA DSM-5 web site, click on “register now,” create a user account and enter your statement in the box. The deadline for this third period of public comment is June 15.
  2. Sign the IFGE sponsored petition to remove the cruelly hurtful Transvestic Disorder category from the DSM-5.
  3. Ask your local, national and international GLBTQ nonprofit organizations to issue public statements to clarify that nonconformity to birth-assigned roles and being victims of societal prejudice are not, in themselves, mental pathology.
  4. Ask mental health and medical professionals who work with the transcommunity to voice their concerns to the APA.
  5. Spread the word to your network of friends and allies.
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About gidreform
Kelley Winters, Ph.D.is a writer on issues of transgender medical policy, founder of GID Reform Advocates and an Advisory Board Member for TransYouth Family Advocates. She has presented papers on the psychiatric classification of gender diversity at the annual conventions of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Counseling Association and the Association of Women in Psychology.

11 Responses to Final Public Comment Period For Proposed DSM-5 Criteria Ends June 15

  1. pasupatidasi says:

    Reblogged this on Pasupatidasi's Blog and commented:
    please read, then go to the link and sign the petition…because different is NOT disease!

  2. Reblogged this on transbeautiful and commented:
    Informative article on the current status of updates to the DSM-5 as it relates to gender nonconforming individuals.

  3. Tam says:

    Reblogged this on One HuMan's Journey and commented:
    Please sign the petition…

  4. James L. Hopkins, MD says:

    I believe that there is a growing amount of evidence suggesting that we are facing an epidemic of sorts in regards to the GBLT condition.

    The designation of transvestism and transsexualism as conditions that are at the very least outside the norm that may elicit dysphoric reactions, suicidal ideation, anxiety, depression, and pathologically negative social reactions may be necessary to assure that research on environmental hormone disruptors continues.

    The fact that Kinsey did not discuss transsexualism or transvestism with any degree of depth if at all suggests that these conditions were extremely rare at the time he did his research.

    According to one source I found, about 40,000 persons have undergone SRS in the United States. Since about one in five transsexuals undergo SRS, that number suggests that there are about 200,000 transsexuals living in the United States today. Some estimate that there are anywhere from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 500 transsexuals for every heterosexual transvestite suggesting that there may be 10,000,000 heterosexual transvestites today.

    If such numbers of persons with these conditions were living when Kinsey was doing his research, I am certain he would have discussed them at length in his books.

    The major hormone disruptors present from about 1945 to 1975 appear to have been DES, DDT, and lead. Lead pipes have been used to transport drinking water to the homes of the wealthy in ancient Greece and Rome and in Middle and Early Modern ages in France and England. Germans and Scandinavians transported water in wood pipes during these same time periods. The mining of silver is commonly associated with lead. Exposure to water in areas of silver deposits could have created GBLT affected persons from ancient to modern times among people like the Navajos who excelled in the making of silver jewelry.

    In modern times the use of leaded gasoline and lead-laden paints and ceramics and most recently plastics like the ones that affected Mark’s estrogen levels and some of the new pesticides may also be contributing to what I believe is a rising incidence of GBLT affected persons.

    It seems to me that the clean up and elimination of environmental hormone disruptors needs to become a priority in environmental protection and improvement efforts. Whether one regards GBLT behavior as a gender gift or not, few will argue that it is a gift that leads many to contemplate suicide and elicits social reactions that are anything but inclusive.

    I believe that persons in this field of study and those affected by these substances ought to lead in the efforts to eliminate hormone disruptors from the environment.

    James L. Hopkins, MD

    • gidreform says:

      To clarify, Dr. Hopkins, gender dysphoria is not synonymous to being transgender or transsexual. Not all trans people are distressed with their birth-sex characteristics. Nor are the vast majority of post-transition people, who may still identify as trans but are no longer distressed. Moreover, the David Reimer case illustrates that ordinary cisgender people can suffer intense gender dysphoria if forced into incongruent sex characteristics or gender roles.

      Cleaning up our environment is important on its own merit, but I strongly disagree with your choice of terms, describing being trans or GLBT as disease or “epidemic.”

  5. maddox says:

    Reblogged this on Neutrois Nonsense and commented:
    This is an extremely important issue. Gender Dysphoria will continue to be pathologized by the psychological and psychiatric community, creating more barriers for transgender and gender non-conforming people from receiving appropriate medical care and treatment with regards to transition.

    Their specific diagnostic criteria continue to characterize gender identities and expressions that differ from birth-assigned roles as pathological and therefore contradict access to medical transition care, for those who need it, rather than lower its barriers.

    Read the full article to see What You Can Do Now.

  6. nelle says:

    ‘It’s my body, stupid.’ Does that work? ;-)

  7. nelle says:

    I registered, but do not see any place to comment.

  8. HenryHall says:

    Really, what point is there is commenting when comments made in the two previous rounds were arrogantly ignored, not published nor even acknowledged. Waste of time trying to educate these Canadian whose self-serving bogus diagnoses serve only to have them laugh all the way to the bank.

    • gidreform says:

      Cause it makes me feel better :-) And they’re not really Canadians.

      “Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet, you can’t win.”
      –Robert Heinlein as Lazarus Long

  9. Pingback: URGENTE · Acción contra la psiquiatría transfóbica « TEORIFICIOS

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