TRANSGENDERISM is no longer listed as a “mental disorder” in the World Health Organisation’s updated catalogue of diseases.
In the newly issued WHO’s International Classification of Diseases catalogue, which classifies more than 55,000 diseases, injuries and causes of death, “gender incongruence” is now listed under “conditions related to sexual health”, instead of “mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders”.
“We think it (the re-categorisation) will reduce stigma so that it may help better social acceptance for these individuals,” Lale Say, the coordinator of WHO’s department of reproductive health and research, told AFP.
WHO says gender incongruence is characterised as a “marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and the assigned sex.”
The document still needs to be approved by United Nations member states before it can take effect.
It is used by doctors and insurers to determine coverage, meaning the reclassification of gender incongruence could have a tangible impact on transgender people’s access to healthcare, Says said.
The WHO follows the likes of France and Denmark who have already removed transgenderism from the list of mental disorders.
The latest catalogue also includes new chapters on video gaming and recognises gaming disorder as a pathological condition, considered addictive in the same way as cocaine.
A section on traditional medicine is also included for the first time.
Member states are expected to vote on the document at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2019. If adopted, it will take effect from January 1, 2022.