Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is considered a sexual dysfunction and is characterized as a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity, as judged by a clinician. For this to be regarded as a disorder, it must cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulties and not be better accounted for by another mental disorder, a drug (legal or illegal), or some other medical condition.
HSDD is listed under the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders of the DSM-IV. It was first included in the DSM-III under the name Inhibited Sexual Desire Disorder, but the name was changed in the DSM-III-R.
There are various subtypes. HSDD can be general (general lack of sexual desire) or situational (still has sexual desire, but lacks sexual desire for current partner), and it can be acquired (HSDD started after a period of normal sexual functioning) or lifelong (the person has always had no/low sexual desire.)
HSDD has garnered much criticism, primarily by asexual activists. They point out that HSDD puts asexuality in the same position homosexuality was from 1974-1987. Back then, the DSM recognised 'ego-dystonic homosexuality' as a disorder, defined as having sexual interest in the same sex and it causing distress. Despite the DSM itself officially recognizing this as unnecessarily pathologizing homosexuality and removing it as a disorder in 1987, the DSM has not recognized HSDD as unnecessarily pathologizing asexuality.
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