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Two challenges for the classification of sexual dysfunction

Record type: Article

Introduction.? The current classification of sexual function (in particular, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV) has lately attracted significant criticism at both research and clinical levels. Despite this, there has been a reluctance to return to the drawing board. Instead, attempts to improve the system have been marginal, constrained by the need to secure professional consensus, the desire for continuity with traditional categories, and the emphasis on diagnostic agreement (reliability).

Aim.? In this article, we examine two key challenges currently faced by the DSM: how to effectively acknowledge the relational context of sexual problems and how to avoid pathologizing normal variation.

Results.? We raise some possible new directions, such as ways in which relational processes could be integrated into the current system, and possibilities for introducing a dimensional rather than a categorical model of sexual function.

Conclusions.? We argue that if the next version of DSM (version V) is to avoid the weaknesses inherent in the present system, then a return to the drawing board is precisely what is required

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Citation

Mitchell, Kirstin and Graham, Cynthia A. (2008) Two challenges for the classification of sexual dysfunction Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5, (7), pp. 1552-1558. (doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00846.x).

More information

Published date: 2008
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 206773
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/206773
ISSN: 1743-6095
PURE UUID: c213427e-5f88-410c-bc2a-054c0e395323
ORCID for Cynthia A. Graham: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7884-599X

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Date deposited: 11 Jan 2012 11:29
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:50

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Contributors

Author: Kirstin Mitchell

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