Did The New APA Diagnostic Manual Classify Pedophilia As A Sexual Orientation?


Back in April, I wrote about a push to federalize a California state law that prohibits counseling aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation. The controversy surrounding this push involved the ambiguity inherent in the legislation’s language, which many feared would open the door to legitimizing deviant sexual inclinations such as pedophilia by classifying them as “orientations.”

What I did not know was that in May, the American Psychological Association (APA) released a new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders known as DSM-5. When it was released, the new DSM-5 stated that pedophilia “refers to a sexual orientation or profession of sexual preference devoid of consummation, whereas pedophilic disorder is defined as a compulsion and is used in reference to individuals who act on their sexuality”.

The distinction made here is significant: classifying those who have a sexual attraction to children but do not act on it as possessing an orientation rather than a disorder moves them closer to legitimacy and legal protection.

After facing significant backlash over the terminology, the APA issued a press release which admitted, “’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.’”

According to a report earlier this month from LifeSiteNews, an APA official made a very interesting admission:

The APA said the unwelcome attention from conservative Christians helped them turn out a more precise and accurate guide.

“In using [the term] sexual orientation, APA did not intend for it to be construed in the legal sense – as in a protected status under title IV and other legislation, but we learned that some may construe it that way,” a spokesperson who asked to remain anonymous told LifeSiteNews.com. “Therefore, we changed the word to ‘interest’ so that it would be clear that APA is speaking in medical terms, and is not commenting on legal status.”

Evidently, the APA wants us to believe that this is simply a mistake. That despite the legal significance of such terminology, the implications were merely overlooked in the development of the manual. Not everyone is buying that argument:

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver criticized this distinction, saying the APA’s publication could “provide pederasts with all the arguments they need to remove age of consent laws, and children will suffer.”

“If reclassifying pedophilia was merely an ‘error,’ it would have been caught” during the decade-long process of developing the new DSM, added Staver.

Just Facts President James Agresti told LifeSiteNews.com that the APA’s text changes – which only took place after aggressive action by social conservatives, and not through an internal corrective process – are a continuation of “a propensity for placing politics over science.”

People often say that a debate like this comes down to little more than a “semantic quibble”, but there was a saying that my high school theology teacher used to drill into our heads with great frequency: “Truth is a matter of semantics.”

When I think of the “decade-long process” of developing this diagnostic manual, that’s what comes to mind. Those writing the manual are, it is safe to assume, professionals at the top of their field. Mistakes like this, considering the legal ramifications, seem highly unlikely. We cannot know with certitude that this was not an error, but I find that such a suggestion strains credulity.

What is more likely is the advancement of a position, however incrementally, that establishes a foot-in-the-door for further expansion. Remember, as hard as it is to believe, there is an active movement within the academic, medical, and psychological community working to reclassify pedophilia and de-stigmatize it. Because the mores that see pedophilia as aberrant and disordered are, in their view, the ”cultural baggage of wrongfulness”.

They’ve backed down this time, but I fully expect this isn’t the last we’ll see of this push. We have to remain vigilant.



7 thoughts on “Did The New APA Diagnostic Manual Classify Pedophilia As A Sexual Orientation?

  1. Chris says:

    I once worked with a guy who advocated this evil. He was a fan of NAMBLA.

  2. Mischelley says:

    Our Lady of the Americas has asked for the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC to enshrine a statue of her, Our Lady Of the Americas, and dedicate the site as a center for purity in this country.
    There is no way on earth–repeat, on earth–that we will come out of this horrifying spiral of death, destruction and satanic hatred of all humanity. Only by prayer, fasting, and spreading the message through our example and teaching by GRACE will we come to heal the wound inflicted on this country in particular and specifically starting in the 1960′s. We are a people of love and adoration–so come, let us adore! Perpetual adoration is springing up in churches all over the country; if exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is not available in your area, go spend an hour or more daily in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle of any Catholic Church anywhere…And PRAY THE ROSARY AND DIVINE MERCY CHAPLETS DAILY, that and daily communion are the most powerful tools we have at our disposal.
    God is greater than all this that is coming against us, and we place our trust in You, O Lord. Mother mary, St. Joseoh, St. Michael the Archangel, PRAY FOR US.

  3. Kate says:

    Mary Eberstadt already wrote about this in Adam & Eve After the Pill. She says the only silver lining of the clergy sex abuse scandal is that it nipped in the bud a growing support for pedophilia, but clearly that will return with Western civilization’s abandonment of its Judeo-Christian roots.

  4. Joanne Geibel says:

    Frightening and sickening. How can anyone possibly think that exploiting children for sexual pleasure is ok and should be tolerated? Lord please help us.

  5. Joanne Geibel says:

    Frightening and sickening. Truly, what in the world are we becoming. Oh my Jesus please save us.

  6. M Fairbank says:

    I was afraid that this would be the next step. I told myself that that would not happen, because unlike homosexuality, it involved an underage victim. But I’m sure that the next thing we will hear is that the underage person is not a victim, that they suffer no harm unless it is forced upon them unwillingly. So much for the concept of protecting those who are not mature enough to make informed decisions for themselves. They cannot drive a car, get a job or even leave school without a parent’s consent, but they can make decisions about sex that could haunt them for the rest of their lives? Preying on the young and defenseless is NOT an orientation, nor is it an “INTEREST.” It is a disease and that is how it should be defined. Somehow they think that as long as a guy doesn’t act on the “interest” that he just has a normal sexual orientation? So people with the “interest” do not need treatment, only those who act on it. In other words, we aren’t going to try to do anything to prevent these perverts from doing anything by treating their disease, we have to wait until they have a victim that will go through hell before we do anything. This world has gone mad. Likewise, we might know that someone has fantasies about running over people with a car, but until he does anything along those lines, it’s just an “interest.” We have to wait until someone is struck and killed before we take steps to treat his tendency. After all, we wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings by making him feel uncomfortable.

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