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Irving M. Binik vs. transgender people

Irving Binik is an American-Canadian psychologist who promoted pathologizing ideas about sex and gender minorities.


Yitzchak M. “Irv” Binik was born February 6, 1949. He grew up in Rochester, New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Jewish Theological Seminary in 1970. He then attended University of Pennsylvania earning a master’s degree in 1972 and a doctorate in 1975, 

He taught at McGill University from 1975 until his retirement.

He studied factors that affect sexual response in women in women and men, including menopause and circumcision He believed sexual pain should be reclassified from a sex disorder to a pain disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

In 2008, Binik was selected for the DSM-V Sexual & Gender Identity Disorders Work Group chaired by Kenneth Zucker.

2014 anti-transgender book

Binik and Kathryn S.K. Hall edited the 2014 book Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy. They present the response to the 2003 anti-transgender book The Man Who Would Be Queen as that of “some militant gender activists.” It also allows psychologists Kenneth Zucker and Nicola Brown to make the case for non-affirmative models of care for minors. Zucker was fired the year after the book’s publication.

The Future of Sex Therapy

The relationship between sexual dysfunction and the other sexual disorders might be best characterized as a DSM-arranged marriage. Paraphilia and gender dysphoria clinicians and researchers have usually not been sex therapists. Yet in the view of previous DSMs and most of the North American mental health community, all sexual and gender issues are alike. The net result is that the sexual dysfunctions, paraphilias, and gender identity disorders have all been thrown into a single DSM chapter. This is not true in the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD) classification.

Whether sexuality is an important defining characteristic for gender dysphoria is matter of some controversy. Brown and Zucker (Chapter 11) point out that autogynephilia—that is, sexual arousal to the idea of oneself being a woman—may be a crucial mechanism in male-to-female gender dysphoria and that this “erotic location error” is considered by some as a sexual orientation. This theory has aroused bitter controversy, as evidenced by the recent brouhaha between J. Michael Bailey of Northwestern University and some militant gender activists (see special issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior, June 2008). Brown and Zucker also review the intervention literature and summarize the substantive changes in the DSM-5 diagnosis.


Binik YM, Hall KSK, Eds. (2014). Principles and Practice of Sex Therapy, Fifth Edition. Guilford Publications. ISBN 9781462513673


McGill University Psychology (

Wikipedia (

Archival resources

Binik Lab ( [archive]

Sex and Couples Therapy ( [archive]

American Psychiatric Association (

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