Recommendations for revision of the DSM diagnosis of gender identity disorder in adults

Lin Fraser, Dan H. Karasic, Walter J. Meyer, Kevan Wylie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) conducted a consensus process in order to make recommendations for revision of the DSM diagnoses of Gender Identity Disorders. This is a report from the work group proposing new diagnostic criteria for Gender Identity Disorders for adults if the diagnosis were to be retained in the next revision of the DSM. The group recommended changing the diagnosis to one based on distress rather than on identity, on which the current diagnosis is based. Hence, they proposed changing the name of the diagnosis from Gender Identity Disorder to the more accurate and less pathologizing Gender Dysphoria, a name familiar to the field, used before, and describing the condition of distress. They proposed the following criteria for a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria in Adults: (a) strong and persistent distress with physical sex characteristics or ascribed social gender role that is incongruent with persistent gender identity, and (b) the distress is clinically significant or causes impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning and this distress or impairment is not solely due to external prejudice or discrimination. There was consensus that a transgender identity is not pathology. Gender variant individuals are not inherently disordered; rather, the distress of gender dysphoria is the psychological problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Transgenderism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • DSM 5
  • Gender identity disorder
  • Transgender
  • Transsexual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


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