WHO Takes Historical Move of Removing Gender Dysphoria from Its Disease List


Transgender flag waving on a pole

Gender dysphoria is no longer classified as a mental illness

Gender dysphoria, the condition where people identify with a different gender than the one they had been assigned at birth, was regarded as a mental health condition. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to remove this condition from the list of diseases. This purpose of this decision was to remove the social stigma revolving around transgender people.

Gender dysphoria, no longer a disease

Many people regarded gender dysphoria as an actual disease because WHO had it included on its disease list. Now, the organization decided to remove it and replace it with another better suiting condition called gender incongruence. This will be a sexual health issue and it better suits the situation of transgender people.

Apart from including it on the list, experts needed a definition for gender incongruence. Therefore, this condition is characterized by a pronounced incongruence between the gender a person experiences and their birth sex. Also, it’s a sexual condition and has nothing to do with mental health.

Gender incongruence allows transgender people to get all the help they need

The WHO experts performed a better review of gender dysphoria and discovered it wasn’t a disease. There is nothing that affects the brain of transgender people, so they decided it was no use keeping the condition on the disease list. Also, attaching it to people only created more social stigma, so the best decision was to remove it.

There was another problem with the classification of gender dysphoria. Transgender people need certain interventions to complete the transition from one sex to the other. However, the mental health condition designation didn’t allow them to get access to all the treatments they needed.

This is a huge achievement for the transgender community. By describing their condition as gender incongruence, these people can get rid of the stigma around them. They should no longer feel mentally ill, as they’ll get all the support they need to cope with their situation.

Image source: Flickr


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Melissa Whitney

We asked our colleague, Melissa Whitney, why she chose Journalism for a profession. She gave us one of the best answers we’ve heard so far: she feels it’s her duty to let future nations know how humanity lived at some point in history. Her articles are, for that matter, incredibly accurate and well-informed, but they do not lack that personal touch that readers need to get to know the writer better.

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