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J Sex Res. 2018 Jul-Aug;55(6):734-746. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2017.1386764. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

Women With Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Versus Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder: An Empirical Test of Raising the Bar.

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a Department of Counselling Psychology , University of British Columbia.
b Department of Psychiatry , University of British Columbia.
c Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , University of British Columbia.


In 2013, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) was published with a major revision to the sexual dysfunction categories, and the diagnosis of female hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) was replaced with female sexual interest/arousal disorder (SIAD). Since being introduced, concern has been expressed that SIAD inappropriately "raises the bar" for diagnosis. To address these concerns, we sought to evaluate the number of women with a diagnosis of HSDD who also met criteria for SIAD. In a sample of 151 women, we found that 73.5% of women with a diagnosis of HSDD met criteria for SIAD. The two groups were compared on the Sexual Interest/Desire Inventory, and women who met criteria for both HSDD and SIAD consistently scored lower on sexual desire frequency and satisfaction, satisfaction with sex, receptivity, positive sexual thoughts, reactions to erotica, arousal frequency, ease, continuation, and orgasm ease/achievement, and higher on distress. In addition, women meeting criteria for HSDD only tended to have mild symptoms across the six SIAD criteria compared to those meeting criteria for both HSDD and SIAD. These findings suggest that the SIAD criteria does not unduly raise the bar for diagnosis.

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