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Sexual maturation disorder
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 F66.0
Sexual orientation
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Sexual maturation disorder is a disorder of anxiety or depression related to an uncertainty about one's gender identity or sexual orientation. The World Health Organization lists sexual maturation disorder in the ICD-10, under "Psychological and behavioural disorders associated with sexual development and orientation".[1]

Sexual orientation, by itself, is not a disorder and is not classified under this heading.[2] It differs from ego-dystonic sexual orientation where the sexual orientation or gender identity is repressed or denied.[3]


Sexual maturation disorder is often seen in adolescents who are uncertain about their sexual orientation.[4][5] There is a push for young people to identify as LGBT, but many are pausing indefinitely before identifying their sexual orientation.[6] Anxiety about the implications of homosexuality in the patient's lives may contribute to the anxiety.[4] A person who is uncertain about their sexual orientation or gender identity is sometimes referred to as questioning. Questioning by itself is not considered a disorder, unless it is accompanied by significant distress to the individual or disturbances in their relationships.[7]

Another common cause of sexual maturation disorder is that the sexual orientation changes after a relatively stable period of time, often within a long-term relationship.[5] This may happen in a mixed-orientation marriage where one spouse is unaware of same-sex attractions until after marriage, when they became sexually active.[8] One study indicated that women were less likely than men to be aware of same-sex attractions before marriage, and more likely to divorce because of conflicts surrounding the changing of their sexual orientation after a stable heterosexual orientation.[9] It may also happen in a same-sex relationship, especially in women, when one of the partners develops an attraction for the opposite sex.[4]

See also


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