Psychosexual Disorders

  • Jerry M. Friedman
  • Joseph E. Czekala


The third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 1980) represents a major step forward in the definition and organization of problems of sexual functioning. There are separate diagnoses for each of the major sexual dysfunctions, something that was not true of the DSM-II, and such imprecise terms as impotence and sexual deviation are not used at all. The DSM-III subdivides the psychosexual disorders into four groups: (1) gender identity disorders; (2) the paraphilias; (3) psychosexual dysfunctions; and (4) other psychosexual disorders (p. 261). The authors make it clear that the use of this diagnostic class is restricted to disorders that are caused, at least in part, by psychological factors. Disorders of sexual functioning that are caused exclusively by organic factors, even though they may have psychological consequences, are not to be listed in this classification. For example, erectile dysfunction due to spinal cord injury is to be coded on Axis III as a physical disorder, with the psychological reaction to that condition coded as an adjustment disorder on Axis I. As will become clear below, it is often very difficult to know if a particular psychosexual disorder is caused exclusively by organic factors. Particularly in sexual dysfunction, even when organic components are present, significant psychological factors may contribute to the disorder.


Erectile Dysfunction Sexual Dysfunction Sexual Desire Sexual Arousal Organic Factor 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry M. Friedman
    • 1
  • Joseph E. Czekala
    • 2
  1. 1.Stony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Miller PlaceUSA

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