ERIC Number: ED205876
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
The Use of Homosexuality as a Psychiatric Diagnosis for Women.
Shachar, Sandra A.
Although research on homosexuality has utilized psychiatric patients as subjects, few studies have examined the use of homosexuality as a psychiatric diagnosis. Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) definition of homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder only when homosexuality is ego-dystonic, an intensive review of the psychiatric records of 26 women diagnosed as homosexual was conducted. Demographic variables, clinical information, other diagnoses, and treatment procedures were examined. Patients were classified as either dystonic, experiencing a developmental crisis, being a legal referral for sexual conduct, or being concerned with other problems. The relationship of the homosexuality diagnosis to the actual presenting problem was rated as either directly related, partially related, unrelated, or not supported. Data analyses suggested that none of the 26 patients formally diagnosed as homosexual fit the DSM criteria for sexual orientation disturbance, and most had predominant psychiatric concerns other than sexuality. Homosexuality was inappropriate as a primary diagnosis for one-third of the sample, and of questionable relevance as a secondary diagnosis for the rest. These findings question the use of homosexuality as a diagnosis. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Women in Psychology (8th, Boston, MA, March 5-8, 1981).