social change

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My Rx for hypermedicalization disorder

This is the second of at least two posts exploring the continued medicalization of sexuality as seen through the revisions of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). See part one here.

Clipped from: www.dsm5.org by clp.ly

 Imagine a person who is deeply conflicted about his sexuality. Instead of acknowledging his problem and working through it, this person lashes out at others, sending them confusing and judgmental messages about their own sexual behavior. He then tells them they are sick because they are confused. Imagine further that this person is a person of power and consequence and so the people around him start to feel ashamed of their own sexual desires and behaviors. They stop talking to each other about sex, and look to therapists and doctors to help them cope with their own shame and confusion. Hardly seems fair or right, does it? One person's conflicts get internalized by many, and the many all then think there is something wrong with them.

That is kind of like what's happened in the United States in terms of sexual diversity. We get so many confusing messages, and one outcome is that we simply don't talk about our own desires and behaviors and many of us end up feeling abnormal, ashamed, or ill. Meanwhile the American Psychiatric Association continues to supply new diagnostic categories for those of us who are made anxious or disturbed by our sexual urges. 

Welcome!


Welcome to Sex in the Public Square! We believe that sexuality is a fundamental component of human life, and that it cannot be excluded from “polite conversation” without losing an important element of democratic participation. We are working to expand the space available for discussions of all aspects of sexuality, so that participants in democratic community life can be fully seen and recognized, can share information, and can become more educated and informed. We also believe that talk about sex needn't always be "serious" in order to be "appropriate" and we welcome playful conversations that focus on the fun of sex as well as serious conversations that focus on things like policy, safety, and identity.

What you’ll find inside

-Blogs and articles on sex in social policy, sex in the news, sex and the law, and, well, sex, all with active discussions and comments.

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