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Sweden Takes Sexual Behaviors Off Their Disease List


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23 January 2009

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare is declassifying sexual behaviors
as mental illnesses to avoid strengthening prejudice against the behaviors, the Swedish news service
Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported last week. The diagnoses which will soon disappear from the disease
registry include sadomasochism, fetishism, fetishistic transvestitism, transvestitism, gender identity
disorder in youth, and multiple disorders of sexual preferences.

NCSF applauds Lars-Erik Holm, the head of the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen),
who made the decision to declassify the behaviors because they are not illnesses in and of themselves,
nor are they something perverse. “These diagnoses are rooted in a time when everything other than the
heterosexual missionary position were seen as sexual perversions,” Holm said.

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“The NCSF’s DSM Revision Project has the same goal to change or remove these harmful diagnoses from the
American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM),” says Susan Wright,
spokesperson for NCSF. “We know from the hundreds of requests for help that NCSF gets every year through
our Incident Response program that the Sexual Sadism, Sexual Masochism, Fetishism and Transvestic
Fetishism diagnoses in the DSM reinforce the negative stereotypes and stigma against alternative sexual

To support NCSF’s DSM Revision Project, please sign the petition (www.ncsfreedom.org) that will be sent
to the APA urging them to adhere to scientific research when revising the diagnoses in the DSM. To find
out more about this project, read the NCSF and the ITCR: NCSF Foundation’s White Paper posted on


A joint Project of NCSF and ITCR: The Foundation of NCSF

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political,
legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who
practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting
adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because
of their sexual expression.

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