Sexual maturation disorder

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Sexual maturation disorder
SpecialtyPsychiatry, Psychology

Sexual maturation disorder was listed in the tenth edition of the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Classification of Diseases, the ICD-10, the most widely used diagnostic manual by psychiatrists and psychologists worldwide.[1] It was described as a disorder of anxiety or depression related to an uncertainty about one's gender identity or sexual orientation.[2] In 2014, it was determined that there was no justification for the existence of this mental disorder category, and the diagnosis was not included in the ICD-11, which went into effect in January 2022.[3]


Sexual maturation disorder, along with ego-dystonic sexual orientation and sexual relationship disorder, was introduced to the ICD in 1990, replacing the ICD-9 diagnosis of homosexuality.[4] The following note was applied to the entirety of part F66, the section in which these three diagnoses appeared: "Sexual orientation by itself is not to be regarded as a disorder."[2]

Removal from ICD[edit]

As part of the development of the ICD-11, the WHO appointed a Working Group on the Classification of Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health to make recommendations on the disease categories related to sexual orientation (part F66). The working group recommended the entire part F66 be deleted due to a lack of clinical utility, a lack of usefulness in public health data, and the potential for negative consequences, including the risk that these categories might lend support to "ineffective and unethical treatment" such as conversion therapy.[5][6] It noted that there is no evidence that non-heterosexual sexual orientation is itself a cause of distress; instead, there is robust empirical evidence that psychological symptoms in non-heterosexual people are the product of discrimination, social rejection, and stigma.[3][1]

In reference to sexual maturation disorder specifically, the working group noted the possibility that this diagnostic category conflated normal developmental patterns with pathological processes, and also noted that people with a non-heterosexual sexual orientation or who are gender nonconforming may experience social stress due to stigma, but such distress is not indicative of a disorder.[5][6]

Accordingly, the ICD-11 does not include any diagnostic categories that can be applied to people on the basis of sexual orientation, bringing the ICD in line with the DSM-5.[3][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Robles, Rebeca; Real, Tania; Reed, Geoffrey M. (2021). "Depathologizing Sexual Orientation and Transgender Identities in Psychiatric Classifications". Consortium Psychiatricum. 2 (2): 45–53. doi:10.17816/CP61. ISSN 2713-2919. S2CID 241240350.
  2. ^ a b ICD-10, F66.0
  3. ^ a b c Reed, Geoffrey M.; Drescher, Jack; Krueger, Richard B.; Atalla, Elham; Cochran, Susan D.; First, Michael B.; Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T.; Arango-de Montis, Iván; Parish, Sharon J.; Cottler, Sara; Briken, Peer; Saxena, Shekhar (October 2016). "Disorders related to sexuality and gender identity in the ICD-11: revising the ICD-10 classification based on current scientific evidence, best clinical practices, and human rights considerations". World Psychiatry. 15 (3): 205–221. doi:10.1002/wps.20354. PMC 5032510. PMID 27717275.
  4. ^ Drescher, Jack (4 August 2015). "Queer diagnoses revisited: The past and future of homosexuality and gender diagnoses in DSM and ICD". International Review of Psychiatry. 27 (5): 386–395. doi:10.3109/09540261.2015.1053847. PMID 26242413. S2CID 8669636.
  5. ^ a b c Cochran, Susan D; Drescher, Jack; Kismödi, Eszter; Giami, Alain; García-Moreno, Claudia; Atalla, Elham; Marais, Adele; Vieira, Elisabeth Meloni; Reed, Geoffrey M (1 September 2014). "Proposed declassification of disease categories related to sexual orientation in the (ICD-11)". Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 92 (9): 672–679. doi:10.2471/BLT.14.135541. PMC 4208576. PMID 25378758.
  6. ^ a b Cochran, Susan D.; Drescher, Jack; Kismödi, Eszter; Giami, Alain; García-Moreno, Claudia; Atalla, Elham; Marais, Adele; Meloni Vieira, Elisabeth; Reed, Geoffrey M. (2020). "Proposed Declassification of Disease Categories Related to Sexual Orientation in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11)". FOCUS. 18 (3): 351–357. doi:10.1176/appi.focus.18303. ISSN 1541-4094. PMC 7587922. PMID 33343245.

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