APA Associated Pedophilia With Sexual Orientation but Claims It Was an Error

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The American Family Association was not fear-mongering. The American Psychiatric Association made a text error in some of its documentation. Children are safe.

Did the American Psychiatric Association (APA) change the classification of pedophilia to a “sexual orientation” or did the American Family Association (AFA) make a false accusation to stir up fear among Christians?

As it turns out, neither.

Charisma News originally reported the AFA’s shocking revelation that the APA’s latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) now classifies pedophilia as a sexual orientation or preference instead of a disorder.

Our investigation into the report and statement reveals that the AFA and its American Family Radio network talk show host Sandy Rios were not fear-mongering. Text associated with the DSM did indeed use the words sexual orientation.

In response to media calls, including queries from Charisma News, the APA admitted there was an error in the DSM and announced plans to correct its manual to make it clear that it does not classify pedophilia as a sexual orientation.

“The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) has recently been published after a comprehensive multi-year research and review of all of its diagnostic categories,” the statement reads.

“In the case of pedophilic disorder, the diagnostic criteria essentially remained the same as in DSM-IV-TR. Only the disorder name was changed from 'pedophilia' to ‘pedophilic disorder’ to maintain consistency with the chapter’s other disorder listings.

“'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.’ In fact, APA considers pedophilic disorder a ‘paraphilia,’ not a ‘sexual orientation.’ This error will be corrected in the electronic version of DSM-5 and the next printing of the manual.

“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.”

This is good news, but many observers have been predicting for years that pedophilia would be reclassified as a sexual orientation. And some still believe the mental health profession is on a slippery slope heading in that direction.


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