This past weekend the public radio show This American Life focused on the removal of homosexuality from the DSM in 1973 (if memory is correct).
So homosexuality is no longer a disorder. Supposedly, it is even the case that treating homosexuality is considered legally unethical. If a homosexual requests treatment with the aim of becoming heterosexual, a doctor is supposed to refuse such treatment. I’d be interested if someone could verify this.
So what makes something a disorder? Notice that I didn’t say “mental disorder.” We have to know what we mean by disorder before we start dividing them in to types of disorders. But if “disorder” turns out to be too general, we can focus on mental disorders.
The radio program gave the impression that psychiatrists in 1973 came to the conclusion that homosexuality had previously been included in the DSM because of prejudice and not for scientific reasons. Well, what are scientific reasons for including a condition in the DSM? Apparently there is some criteria met by other conditions but which is not met by homosexuality. What are they?
Please keep in mind that I am not claiming their decision was unjustified. I am saying that I don’t know what the justification is. And I am certainly not attacking homosexuality or those of that persuasion.