What conceptual means are available to prevent deviant and undesirable behavioral conditions from being diagnosed as mental disorders as a result of social bias and stigma?

Awais Aftab in Psychiatric Times:

Consider a hypothetical society that severely marginalizes individuals with red hair and considers red hair to be a genetic disorder with a recessive pattern of inheritance. The “pathology” is determined to be an imbalance between the levels of the red pigment pheomelanin and dark pigment eumelanin in the hair filaments. Red-haired individuals—and parents of red-haired children—in this society go to extreme lengths to dye their hair black. In fact, this society has spent extensive resources to develop complex dyeing procedures, performed only by specially trained medical professionals, that work best for red hair and last longer than regular dyes.

Variants of this thought experiment are sometimes utilized in the gene-environment debates; for gene-environment theorists, the thought experiment provides a scenario in which a socially sanctioned phenotype leads to reduced biological fitness solely because of that sanction. However, I utilize this scenario to explore a different question. The disorder designation in this case is entirely arbitrary on part of the society. There is nothing inherently pathological about red hair. The designation is arbitrary in this case because any hair color, if stigmatized, could have been regarded as a disorder. Disorder designation is one of the ways in which this stigma is expressed, although possibly a relatively humane way, since disorder designation recognizes that the condition can potentially be fixed with a treatment (in this case, hair dyeing), and treatment may lead to alleviation of the social exclusion.

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