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APA struggles with classifying pedophilia

December 27, 2013 By: Tom Coy Category: Clinical Science

November 1, 2013

The following Press Release “American Psychiatric Association Struggles Again with Classifying Pedophilia” by the Liberty Counsel is reprinted in its entirety: Washington, DC—The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has changed the definition of pedophilia again. In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) of Mental Disorders, the APA changed the classification of pedophilia from a “disorder” to a “sexual orientation,” but following the public outcry, APA released a statement that it was a mistake. “‘Sexual orientation’ is not a term used in the diagnostic criteria for pedophilic disorder, and its use in the DSM-5 text discussion is an error and should read ‘sexual interest.’”

When releasing the original DSM-V, APA said it “marked the end of more than a decade’s journey in revising the criteria for the diagnosis and classification of mental disorders,” with collaboration from “professionals from the mental health and medical communities, patients and their families, and members of the public.”

“Clearly, if reclassifying pedophilia was merely an ‘error,’ it would have been caught in the ‘decade’s journey,’” says Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“Whether it is classified a ‘sexual orientation’ or a ‘sexual interest,’ any effort to legitimize pedophilia will provide pederasts with all the arguments they need to remove age of consent laws, and children will suffer,” says Staver.

The nonscientific, APA changes of pedophilia have been ripe with controversy over the years.
• In the third edition of the DSM, APA said that one who acted upon one’s sexual attraction to children was a pedophile.
• In DSM-IV, APA changed the criteria, saying that pedophilia was only a disorder if it “caused clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”
• The Rind study followed and concluded that man-boy “consensual” relationships were not necessarily harmful.
• Following the public outcry of the Rind study, APA said moral values trumped the scientific study.
• The original printing of the most recent DSM-V changed pedophilia to a “sexual orientation,” but again the public outcry prompted psychology experts to admit an “error” that will be corrected in “the next printing of the manual.” The DSM-V has been under consideration for ten years. It is hard to accept that its publication was a mistake or an error. It is more likely that the public outcry prompted the APA’s recent press statement.

“The APA has lost credibility with this recent blunder over the classification for pedophilia. The APA has become co-opted by a political agenda. It is hard to see the APA any other way,” says Staver.

“The implications of reclassifying natural law, whether it be for same-sex marriage or adult-children relationships, are far-reaching,” Staver concluded.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.