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Mental Disorder Redefined, Homosexuality Excluded

China's third edition of "Standards on Classification and Diagnosis of Mental Disturbances" is to be published on April 20, contained in which is the detailed definition on homosexuality. It says that the homosexuals may not necessarily be treated as the mental disorders.

Homosexuals are not patients suffering from mental diseases and China's legal psychiatry doesn't include homosexuality, expert says. In China they have always been deemed as personality disturbance and in the past they were classified into those of sexual variants yet from now on homosexuality is popularly accepted as disturbances in sexual psychology.

Before the revision, researchers in a one-year-odd follow-up study on 51 cases of homosexuals found out that only six were in need of aid from psychiatrists. Therefore the new edition defines that the diagnosis for homosexuality in it has more detailed definitions than that of 1989 edition. It is stated that only when the homosexual behavior causes mental frustration and anxiety which seriously hampers one's normal life and studies, can it be regarded as disorder in sexual psychology.

For China, it is a social progress achieved not to treat homosexuality as a morbid mentality, said Li Yinhe, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and expert in this field, while in some states of the United States homosexuality is still eyed as illegal.

Nevertheless, this change in medical classification doesn't indicate the change of social status for homosexuals as formally recognized in Chinese society and law, expert warns.

(People’s Daily 03/12/2001)

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