Sexual fetishes not considered mental illnesses
The DSM currently defines 'unusual' sexual turn-ons as paraphilias. Paraphilias include everything from foot fetishes, S and M and erotic eating to exhibitionism and pedophilia.Updated: Apr 05, 2013 13:37 IST
Those who hoped to see sexual fetishes removed completely from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the bible of psychiatry published by the American Psychiatric Association, will likely be disappointed when the new edition comes out in May.
The DSM-V will probably still mention certain sexual predilections, but they won't necessarily be labelled as mental illnesses, the Huffington Post reported.
The DSM currently defines 'unusual' sexual turn-ons as paraphilias. Paraphilias include everything from foot fetishes, S and M and erotic eating to exhibitionism and pedophilia.
These paraphilias are considered harmless unless the person experiencing them feels distressed about their preferences or if their unusual sexual practices are harmful to others.
It appears that the DSM-V will further formalize this idea and separate paraphilias from paraphilic disorders.
This means that a benign fetish like being turned on by feet or enjoying some consensual bondage play would be considered a paraphilia, while having a sexual obsession with underage children would be considered a paraphilic disorder.
The DSM has undergone significant changes over the last 50 years in how it defines healthy and unhealthy sex and sexuality.
Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder until 1973 and it wasn't until 1986 that feeling distressed about one?s homosexuality was fully dropped from the manual.
First Published: Apr 05, 2013 12:56 IST