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Sadomasochism No Longer a Disease

Transvestism, sadomasochism and fetishism are not going to be officially considered diseases in Finland for much longer. The National Institute for Health and Welfare is removing them from Finland’s lists of diseases because there is no proper medical basis for classifying them as such.

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Image: Rita Trötschkes / Yle

An analogous change to the classification of diseases was carried out in Denmark in 1995, while Sweden and Norway made the same step in 2009 and in 2010 respectively.

Sadomasochism means receiving sexual gratification from humiliation or pain, for example from being whipped or tied up. Fetishism refers to a sexual attraction to objects or materials, while transvestism denotes cross-dressing.

The change has been submitted to the International Classification of Diseases through the corroboration of SETA, the organisation for LGBT rights in Finland, and the Sexpo Foundation. A group made up of experts in medicine, sexology and sociology also took part in the preparations.

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