DSM-5 Typo: Pedophilia Described as 'Sexual Orientation'

Deborah Brauser

November 01, 2013

The phrase "sexual orientation" was used erroneously in the discussion section about pedophilia in the recently released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

In a press release, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) notes that the correct terminology is "sexual interest" and that it will correct the error in the manual's electronic version and in the next print edition.

"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," said the organization in its statement.

The APA adds pedophilic disorder is a "paraphilia" and not a sexual orientation. Other paraphilic disorders included in the manual include exhibitionistic disorder, sexual sadism disorder, and fetishistic disorder.

"APA stands firmly behind efforts to criminally prosecute those who sexually abuse and exploit children and adolescents. We also support continued efforts to develop treatments for those with pedophilic disorder with the goal of preventing future acts of abuse," the association adds.

A communiqué released by the APA before the DSM-5 was released discussed changes from the DSM- IV-TR, and noted that there had been much discussion within the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group about this particular disorder. However, "the notable detail is what wasn't revised in the new manual."

"Although proposals were discussed throughout the DSM-5 development process, diagnostic criteria ultimately remained the same," they wrote at the time. "Only the disorder name will be changed from pedophilia to pedophilic disorder."

The APA notes in its latest release that the newly discovered "pedophilic disorder text error" will be corrected.

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