Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More encouraging news about the DSM-5 paraphilias debacle

Earlier this week, forensic psychologist Karen Franklin blogged about a debate and then a (non-binding) vote at the recent annual meeting for the American Association of Psychiatry and Law. Now she has informed readers of another (non-binding) vote that occurred earlier (I assume that she was informed of this in repose to her post):
At last month's meeting of the International Association for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders (IATSO) in Oslo, Norway, the vote was approximately 100 to 1 against the controversial diagnosis of "pedohebephilia," according to two reliable sources. The lone dissenting voice was a member of the DSM-5 committee.

Well, so much for trying to achieve professional consensus.

Franklin is spot-on in her assessment of the situation:
I hope the DSM revisers are listening. If not, they are going to end up the laughingstock of the world.

It will be interesting to see how the Paraphilias subworkgrouop responds. So far, they seem to have taken the strategy of having James Cantor post articles on his website, having Alice Dreger writing blogs, and getting an SVP prosecutor drool over a new diagnosis that would make it easier to deprive people of constitutional rights. Evidently, this hasn't been working very well.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

AVENues relaunched!

As most readers probably know, AVEN's newsletter--AVENues--hasn't had any recently issues for a while. The Jan 2009 issue remains the one on AVEN frontpage, although the most recent issue is actually March 2009. After that, Hallu (who was in charge of it at the time) just didn't have much of anything in terms of submissions, and despite a lot of talk about reviving it, nothing happened. The 2009-2010 Project Team talked a lot about reviving it, they got some submissions, but never managed to produce another issue.

I am very pleased to announce that first issue of AVENues in over a year and a half has been published, thanks to the new Project Team, especially +Arielle.

High Quality

Low quality

Paraphilias debate at the annual meeting of the American Association of Psychiatry and Law

On forensic psychologist Karen Franklin's blog, she recently posted about some very interesting news about the current DSM-5 paraphilias controvercy: Psychiatrists vote no on controversial paraphilias.

The DSM-5 Paraphilias Subworkgroup has made a number of controversial proposals (many of which I've blogged about before), among these are expanding Peophilia (attraction to prepubescent chilren) to Pedohebephilia (attraction to prepubescent or pubescent children), adding Paraphilic Coercive Disorder, and adding Hypersexuality. At the annual meeting of the American Association of Psychiatry and Law (AAPL), they had a debate on the matter (stirring the DSM cauldron), and afterwards, it seems, they had a (non-binding) vote. The results:
The votes were 31-2, 31-2, and 29-2, respectively, against Paraphilic Coercive Disorder, Pedohebephilia, and Hypersexual Disorder.

Based on a presentation at last year's AALP meeting, in a comment in the Psychiatric Times, one forensic pyschiatrist one forensic psychiatrist asked
"Is this workgroup immune to critique? Has it "gone rogue"? What is its agenda?"

I'm coming to suspect that they have indeed "gone rogue," and their agenda seems rather transparent to many. Franklin writes:
The "pro" debate team repeatedly insisted that these diagnoses are being proposed based on their scientific merit, not their utility to government evaluators in civil commitment cases. They said these new diagnoses are needed so people suffering with these conditions can get adequate treatment...

The audience of forensic psychiatrists clearly did not buy the clinical justification. As more than one audience member asked the panel, If the rationale is strictly clinical, why are attorneys serving as advisors to the work group?

A very good question indeed. Especially given that they had one of these advisor's--a prosecutor--write a report about how much he would love to have Paraphilic Coercive Disorder in DSM-5.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

National Coming Out Day

In the US, October 11, and in the UK, October 12, has been designated as National Coming Out Day. (This strikes me as a rather odd thing to call what is supposed to be an international event.) Many asexuals are thinking about various ways to get involved in this, and there has been considerable discussion of the matter on AVEN: National Coming Out Day--the revised thread.

If you choose to participate, please consider talking about your experiences in the thread National Coming Out Day: A follow up, or discussing the matter in the comments.

For myself, it is something of a time to reflect. While I have done lots of stuff regarding asexual visibility and education (i.e. writing this blog, among a number of other things), I'm not all that out about my asexuality in real life. Some of my family and friends back home know, and here in Champaign-Urbana, I've been slowly becoming more open about it. (Often, this has been by informing people of the topic of my blog--which I even did in a conference presentation about scalar implicatures one time as I used my blog to recruit participants, and several faculty members know that I am interested in doing sociolinguistic research on the asexual community.)

And yet, I don't feel very comfortable doing any kind of large-scale coming out anything, so I feel sort of awkward writing about it here encouraging other people to do so. And yet because I'm on the PT and the PT is very much trying to promote this event, I feel like I should. I'm not entirely sure what to make of this.