Sexual Dysfunctions and Deviations

  • Nathaniel McConaghy


The descriptions of mental disorders provided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994) are those currently most widely used in the scientific literature. Development of the DSM beginning with the third version was strongly influenced by the criticism of previous diagnostic procedures which allowed clinicians considerable latitude in determining the features on which they based their diagnoses. As a result the diagnoses made on the same patients by different clinicians could vary considerably, that is, they lacked reliability. Matarazzo (1983) emphasized that these levels could be as low as 49–63% for specific psychiatric diagnoses. To minimize this cause of reduced diagnostic reliability, criteria were defined in recent versions of the DSM for most mental disorders. The aim was that the definitions would be sufficiently precise that different interviewers would experience no uncertainty as to whether the criteria were present or absent in a particular patient. Ideally the definitions were those termed operational, in that each operation involved in reaching the diagnosis was defined so completely that no subjective judgment was necessary by the interviewer. Though succeeding editions of the DSM have attempted to provide such operationally defined criteria for mental disorders, many of the attempts still remain unsuccessful, perhaps more for sexual dysfunctions and deviations than other conditions. Criticisms of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, terminologies, and omissions for the sexual dysfunctions and deviations continue to be made in the clinical and research literature.


Sexual Behavior Erectile Dysfunction Clinical Interview Sexual Dysfunction Personality Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathaniel McConaghy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychiatryUniversity of New South WalesPaddingtonAustralia

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