Science evolves through consensus: The evolution of diagnostic criteria in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity

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Jack Drescher, MD, is an American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst known for his work on the history of theorising about, diagnosing, treating and mistreating sexual minorities. Dr Drescher was a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 expert working group on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, which revised the DSM- IV-TR diagnosis of gender identity disorder to the DSM-5 diagnosis of ‘gender dysphoria’. He was also a member of the World Health Organization expert working group that recommended replacing ICD-10’s gender identity disorder with ‘gender incongruence’, as well as moving the diagnosis out of the mental disorders section of the latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Dr Drescher is also an expert on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and served on the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. He has published a number of books in the field including Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man (Drescher, 1998a) and Sexual Conversion Therapy: Ethical, clinical and research perspectives (Shidlo et al., 2001). In February 2020, I interviewed him about his role in the recent ICD-11 revisions and his views on tackling the practice of conversion therapy. What follows is an edited version of our conversation. (Adam Jowett, Chair of the Psychology of Sexualities Section)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology of Sexualities Section Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2020

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