APA Classifies Paedophilia as Sexual Orientation? - Internet/Facebook Rumour

1 Nov 2013 - Article No: 1785. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

Rumours are circulating that the APA (American Psychiatric Association) recently classified paedophilia as a sexual orientation, according to a statement from the AFA (American Family Association)




Firstly it is important to note that the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is NOT the American Psychological Association (same acronym) who have had to deflect several comments from people mistaking the two organisations. Media have also mistaken the two organisations.

The issue arose as the American Psychiatric Association released the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Within the text an error occurred that resulted in an instance of “sexual interest” being written as “sexual orientation”.

However before the error was spotted it was picked up by the AFA who released a statement [link removed as destination article removed] asserting that the APA now assert paedophilia to be a sexual orientation. It should be noted that the term "sexual orientation" did NOT (and never did) appear in the diagnostic criteria for pedophilic disorder and we cannot ascertain if the AFA consulted with the APA prior to releasing their statement.

The APA have now released a statement admitting the error, asserting that the criteria for pedophillic disorder “essentially remains the same” and that the next edition of the manual the error will be rectified. They also reiterated their stance that they will continue to stand behind efforts to criminally prosecute those who sexually abuse and exploit children.


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.

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.


So the rumours about the APA classifying paedophilia as a sexual orientation are untrue, and rumours to the contrary should not be circulated.

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