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Sweden takes sexual behaviors off their disease list

CommentaryNovember 26, 2008 - The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare is
declassifying sexual behaviors
as mental illnesses to avoid strengthening prejudice against the behaviors, the
Swedish news service
Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported last week. The diagnoses which will soon
disappear from the disease
registry include sadomasochism, fetishism, fetishistic transvestitism,
transvestitism, gender identity
disorder in youth, and multiple disorders of sexual preferences.
NCSF applauds Lars-Erik Holm, the head of the National Board of Health and Welfare
(Socialstyrelsen),
who made the decision to declassify the behaviors because they are not illnesses in
and of themselves,
nor are they something perverse. "These diagnoses are rooted in a time when
everything other than the
heterosexual missionary position were seen as sexual perversions," Holm said.

"The NCSF's DSM Revision Project has the same goal to change or remove these harmful
diagnoses from the
American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM)," says
Susan Wright,
spokesperson for NCSF. "We know from the hundreds of requests for help that NCSF
gets every year through
our Incident Response program that the Sexual Sadism, Sexual Masochism, Fetishism
and Transvestic
Fetishism diagnoses in the DSM reinforce the negative stereotypes and stigma against
alternative sexual
behaviors."

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