, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 587-590

A Critique of the Proposed DSM-V Diagnosis of Pedophilia

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Given their foundational role, examining the adequacy of diagnostic criteria and attempting to improve these is one of the most important activities our profession undertakes. However, devising and implementing satisfactory diagnostic criteria is a very difficult task for several reasons: (1) there is no consensual methodology that can be used to produce valid diagnostic criteria; (2) language is complex and attaching words to clinical phenomena gives rise to a whole host of thorny linguistic subproblems (e.g., the meaning of each word used); and (3) there is often missing information that would be useful in revisions identifying what the major problems are regarding the current diagnostic criteria (e.g., sources of current inter-rater reliability). However, despite these problems, the profession and other stakeholders are interested in the question of the extent to which the current criteria “carve nature at its joints” and can be successfully implemented by clinicians.

Blanchard (2009