Transgender advocates seek new diagnostic terms

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Associated Press

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 21 at 2:02 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Does a woman who strongly believes she was meant to be a man have a mental condition or a medical problem?

The nation's psychiatric establishment is wrestling with that question, among others, as it works to overhaul its diagnostic manual for the first time in almost two decades.

Advocates have spent years lobbying the American Psychiatric Association to rewrite or even remove the categories typically used to diagnose transgender people. They argue that terms like Gender Identity Disorder promote discrimination by broad-brushing a diverse population with the stigma of mental illness.

The association's new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is scheduled to be printed at the end of the year.

Professionals who have been part of the revision process say the latest wording under discussion reflects the shift in society's understanding of what it means to be transgender.

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