The DSM diagnostic criteria for sexual masochism

Arch Sex Behav. 2010 Apr;39(2):346-56. doi: 10.1007/s10508-010-9613-4.


I reviewed the empirical literature for 1900-2008 on the paraphilia of Sexual Masochism for the Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group for the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The results of this review were tabulated into a general summary of the criticisms relevant to the DSM diagnosis of Sexual Masochism, the assessment of Sexual Masochism utilizing the DSM in samples drawn from forensic populations, and the assessment of Sexual Masochism using the DSM in non-forensic populations. I concluded that the diagnosis of Sexual Masochism should be retained, that minimal modifications of the wording of this diagnosis were warranted, and that there was a need for the development of dimensional and structured diagnostic instruments. It should be noted that this summary reflects my original literature review. Subsequently, interactions with other members of the workgroup and advisors have resulted in modification of these initial suggestions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Humans
  • Masochism / diagnosis*