On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an updated version of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) to no longer include “gender incongruence” as a mental disorder.
Existing evidence, the WHO argued, was “clear that it is not a mental disorder.” Instead, the WHO classified gender incongruence as a “sexual health condition,” potentially altering how medical professionals treat the condition around the world.
“A critical point in engaging with the ICD is that inclusion or exclusion is not a judgment on the validity of a condition or the efficacy of treatment,” the WHO’s website said.
But psychologist Geoffrey Reed, who helped compile the ICD, previously told The New York Times that the organization sought the reclassification as a way to “reduce barriers to care.”
The WHO sought to change its terminology from “transsexualism” to “gender incongruence,” according to Reed, because the latter helped express “a discrepancy between a person’s experienced gender identity and their body.”
“One of the benefits of moving it out of the mental disorder section is trying to reduce stigma,” Dr. Michael First, the chief technical consultant behind the new ICD, told the Times.
If you are looking for additional background on this, try here:
Reed, G. M., Drescher, J., Krueger, R. B., Atalla, E., Cochran, S. D., First, M. B., . . . Saxena, S. (2016). Disorders related to sexuality and gender identity in the ICD-11: revising the ICD-10 classification based on current scientific evidence, best clinical practices, and human rights considerations. World Psychiatry, 15(3), 205-221. doi:10.1002/wps.20354
Or here for a WHO video on the issue: https://youtu.be/kyCgz0z05Ik.