Christian groups practically combusted this week over a (false) claim that the American Psychiatric Association now classifies pedophilia as a sexual orientation — which it undeniably does not.
The recently-released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the APA’s guide to classifications of mental illnesses, has not changed its classification of pedophilia as a disorder. However, in one paragraph of the DSM-V’s text discussion — not the criteria itself, Care2 points out — it is incorrectly referred to as a “sexual orientation” in a place where the text was meant to read “sexual interest.”
The anti-gay American Family Association seems to have been the first to send panicked messages throughout right-wing circles about the error, making the sweeping claim that pedophilia was now considered another run-of-the-mill “alternative” sexual orientation. The Christian publication Charisma News published an article quoting the horrifically anti-gay commentator Sandy Rios, who issued an inflammatory statement on behalf of the AFA: