Accuracy of AFA's Report on Pedophilia Classification Questioned

young girl
(Andy Carter/Flickr/Creative Commons)

UPDATE: The APA has clarified its text mistake. Pedophilia has not been classified as a sexual orientation, but the AFA report was not fabricated or fear-mongering. Click here for the resolution to this issue.

The American Family Association (AFA) sounded an alarm on Wednesday, pointing to a shocking announcement from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in its latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But was the report accurate?

Charisma News started digging a little deeper on Thursday morning into the AFA’s claims that the APA now classifies pedophilia as a sexual orientation or preference instead of a disorder.

Further research reveals the American Spectator incited more fervor on the topic, pulling from a University of Southern California report indicating that “the American Psychiatric Association (APA) drew a very distinct line between pedophilia and pedophilic disorder. Pedophilia refers to a sexual orientation or profession of sexual preference devoid of consummation, whereas pedophilic disorder is defined as a compulsion and is used in reference to individuals who act on their sexuality.”

But Dr. Greg Popcak, director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to marriage, family and personal problems, says the DSM criteria for pedophilic disorder shouldn’t bother anyone.

“The name of the disorder did change in the DSM V from Pedophilia to Pedophilic Disorder to keep the nomenclature consistent with other categories,” he writes. “But that was an editorial change, not a clinical one and it has no significance for diagnosis of treatment of the disorder.”

The APA said it would send Charisma News an official statement earlier this afternoon, but has not yet followed through.

UPDATE: The APA has clarified its text mistake. Pedophilia has not been classified as a sexual orientation, but the AFA report was not fabricated or fear-mongering. Click here for the resolution to this issue.


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