APA recants reclassification of pedophilia, claims typo


In a statement last week, the American Psychiatric Association recanted the phraseology used to describe pedophilia.

When the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders released in its fifth edition (commonly called DSM-5), it included wording that appeared to change the classification of pedophilia from "disorder" to a "sexual orientation," sparking controversy and outrage from many groups.

A textual 'error'

The change, says the APA, was a mistake in the text and should read "sexual interest" rather than "sexual orientation." This was, by and large, the only change made to the disorder in the DSM-5 versus its predecessor, DSM-4, outside of the name of the disorder itself, which was changed from "pedophilia" to "pedophilic disorder" in order to "maintain consistency with the chapter's other disorder listings," the APA stated.

"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.

This marks one more blow to the APA as the new psychiatric manual continues to incite controversy. The manual was more than a decade in the making, replacing the fourth edition which had stood for nearly two decades as the "bible of psychology."


The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Total votes: 3979