Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Asexuality and the DSM

by David Jay

Near as we can tell, about 1% of the world's population doesn't like sex. Though we are not sexuality researchers, the folks from the asexual community have been working for years to create open, honest public dialogue about our orientation. You can find out more about asexuality on wikipedia or at www.asexuality.org. Both have excellent breakdowns of the research that has been done on asexuality so far.

Recently people from the asexual community have put together a task force around the DSM V. The current DSM's definition of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder can be problematic for asexual people seeking treatment. Under the current rules, asexual people are diagnosed as having HSDD if we experience distress or if our partners do. This raises a couple of thorny issues. Lots of asexual people experience distress when we're coming to terms with our orientation, the same way that gay, bi and pan people do. Many more of us are in relationships with sexual partners and are working through the complicated issues that that entails. Neither seems like grounds for a disorder.

We want to make certain that the subcommittee working to revise the definition of HSDD takes asexuality into account, and we'd like your help. We're trying to solicit opinions from people in the sexual health field on effective ways to account for asexuality when treating low interest in sex.

Got an opinion? Drop us a line, we'd love to arrange a time to talk.

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