APA declines to meet with religious coalition

I will have more to say about this in due time, however, while it is current, I wanted to post this Citizen link article regarding the APA sexual orientation task force.

In a nutshell, the APA solicited opinion from gay advocacy groups in regard to the sexual orientation task force mandate but thus far has declined to meet with a large religious coalition which asked for a meeting regarding that mandate. The letters to the APA are linked in this report.

For the record, Clinton Anderson and the APA GLBT office is open to conversation with callers and has been responsive to my inquiries and input. I do not want to imply otherwise. And I know that the task force is aware of a diversity of views. However, that being said, I do think it would be productive for the APA leadership to have a formal sit-down with those representing a major US demographic group.

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  • jayhuck

    First of all, this is an article written by a Focus on the Family Zine. I’m wondering what they mean in this article by saying:

    20 million Americans have been denied input into an American Psychological Association panel on homosexuality.

    How did they get this number? Did they take poll?

    I get worried when religious idealogues want to try and intervene in areas of science. I’ve expressed this worry before. If religious counselors want to offer this service, then they SHOULD offer this service. I know many of them already do this. I don’t see why they feel the need to force their views on the rest of mainstream psychology.

  • vegasguy

    If These Zeolots had there way, the earth would still be flat!

  • ken

    Given James Dobson’s (acting as head of FoF) past distortions of research for his own political gain, I don’t see why the APA should give him any credibility by meeting with him or any other Focus on the Family representatives.

  • David Blakeslee

    Religious practice has been demonstrated to be effective across a broad spectrum of mental health measures.

    “Religion instruding into Science” is a laughable phrase.

    Psychology is a Weak Science (at best) that actively ignores the scientifically documented implications of religious practice as it may bear on a persons struggle with unwanted SSA.

    This happens to such a degree that that it’s major justification can only be political: oops, now we are back to democrats and republicans, the former make up a disporportionate number of mental health researchers and clinicians.

  • David Blakeslee

    “intruding” not “Instruding”

    now we can really laugh.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    “…a major US demographic group.” Yes, indeed. And, indeed it should also be remembered that it was the efforts of interests groups who had a bearing on the APA’s decision in 1973 to remove homosexuality from it’s manual of disorders.

  • Ann

    I get really worred when there isn’t a balance. Declining the voice of religion into the equasion while including the voice of gay advocacy groups is cause for concern.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I’m curious to know whether those who favor Focus on the Family having input on issues of homosexuality also favor Scientology having input on issues of post-pardem depression.

    Or the Christian Scientists having input on issues of pain medication.

    Or if they favor the Jehovah’s Witnesses having input on the AMA issues of blood transfusion.

    I do not believe that the observable must always rule over articles of faith. But neither should doctrines dictate to the secular.

    Psychology should present that which is based on observation and religion should present that which is based on faith and doctrine. And unless religion wants to base its doctrines on what science presents, it should not expect that science defer to its demands.

  • ken

    Jim Phelan said in post 70102:

    it should also be remembered that it was the efforts of interests groups who had a bearing on the APA’s decision in 1973 to remove homosexuality from it’s manual of disorders.

    While interest groups may have “had a bearing”, it was the research started by Evelyn Hooker that was the main reason for the removal of homosexuality from the DSM.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Timothy – Do any of those groups want such input?

    Does PFLAG and the Task Force have much to say about how Evangelicals interact with therapists?

    Evangelicals were not asking to “dictate” anything, rather to provide voice for constituents; just like other groups have done with the APA.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    I”m sure the Scientologists would be delighted to guide the policies of those therapists who deal with women experiencing postpartum depression. And I’m sure they could get Tom Cruise and John Travolta to sign a letter telling the APA who should be on committees and demanding a separate task force be set up just for them.

  • Anonymous

    Dobson and Focus on the Family has built up a track record of misrepresenting scientific and sociological work on gays and lesbians (see, for instance, the controversies surrounding Judith Stacey, Carol Gilligan, and Kyle Pruett, all of whom attacked Dobson for twisting and misrepresenting their work). The APA itself has said that the positions espoused by FoF on conversion therapy “create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.” So what exactly has FoF done to earn a place at the table?

    I suspect that the APA would be open to hearing from religious perspectives, but *not* through the mouthpiece of a lobbying organization with such a bad reputation.

    And frankly, Warren, why would you add your name as a signatory and thereby associate yourself with a group that misrepresents scientific work on this area?

  • jag

    Ann -

    You state you get worried when their isn’t a balance…however, please note Ken’s comments:

    “Given James Dobson’s (acting as head of FoF) past distortions of research for his own political gain, I don’t see why the APA should give him any credibility by meeting with him or any other Focus on the Family representatives.”

    James Dobson has publicly been called out on distorting research by the author’s of the research themselves, and has a history of data distortion. It’s like asking the KKK to meet about a new human rights treaty on racial equality. You might ask the minorities themselves, scientists involved, etc…but to ask a group that frequently distorts data, etc…to give input seems not a good choice. I’m not sure what he would contribute, aside from the views of many others as distorted, unscientific and prejudicial as himself.

    Just because the majority may side with his discriminatory views, does not mean that they have a place at the table.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    The religious coalition asked for a meeting to begin a discussion regarding the evangelical client who is same-sex attracted. FOTF and the other groups listed there advocate for those people. It is a change of posture for FOTF and many of those people to take that approach. If the APA has concerns about FOTF, the leadership should have taken the opportunity to engage FOTF in a dialogue instead of copping an excuse.

  • Ann

    is it a general concensus that Focus on the Family mis-represents facts? I have only heard this point of view from those who endorse homosexuality. I also had a strong feeling that the lady, I think it was Judith Stacey, that Wayne Besen interviewed and put on You Tube had been coached and influenced by him – I could be wrong, but it was just something I felt.

  • jayhuck

    David Blakeslee,

    I’m just curious how much input into science you think religion should have? And whose “faith” are we talking about (Christians, Muslims, Scientologists, Buddhists)? My guess is that faith does play a role in therapy, and should, up to a point. At that point, if people are still struggling with faith issues, they should be sent to a priest, pastor, preacher, etc. to help them deal with those issues – NOT to a scientist – even a weak one. It is the job of spiritual leaders to help people with spiritual issues, NOT therapists.

  • jayhuck

    Jag,

    James Dobson has publicly been called out on distorting research by the author’s of the research themselves, and has a history of data distortion.

    David – this is just one of the many problems we have when religious ideologues enter into the realm of science. Did we learn nothing from the Scopes Monkey Trial.

    And even IF psychology is a “weak science”, bringing religion into the equation isn’t going to strengthen its objectivity or its scientific sensibilities. My Human Development teacher called for a great deal more of the scientific method in psychology – and I believe it should move in that direction, but it won’t if religious leaders and followers want to shape it so it fits their own personal beliefs.

  • Anonymous

    Warren writes: If the APA has concerns about FOTF, the leadership should have taken the opportunity to engage FOTF in a dialogue instead of copping an excuse.

    That’s a very weak response. The APA is not obliged to start a dialogue with a group that has a track record of distorting science for political ends and “creating an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.” In fact, a short, concise refusal to engage with such a group is an appropriate response. It appears that is what the APA did.

  • Evan

    APA’s ruling out of homosexuality as a mental disorder should have been meant to let people come out and live their same-sex attractions as a positive thing, if that’s what they really felt it was right for them. It was the good and right thing to do for the people who really wished that. But it created a counterbalancing effect against people who never wanted much else but help from the scientific community. To them, APA’s decision sounded like dictate or locked alternative: you either live your SSAs or we can provide help to live it. That was not considerate of people’s ‘wholeness’.

    Ignoring a group concerned with people’s well-being, whatever background that group is coming from (religious, social, professional), seems to me like this issue became downright political. Science should be about openness and constructiveness, not about refusal to hold any discussion. Same-sex attraction is not an issue of knowing that the earth is not flat, this is like a quantum physics issue of human sciences. We’re far from having the third word on this, but some of us act as if we have the last.

  • Ann

    Jag,

    I didn’t mention James Dobson in my first post so I am not sure why you referenced him to me. Is he the only representative that would be considered? Do you remember citing an article he wrote about Mary Cheney and I looked it up and sent you the link? It did not say the things he was accused of by you and others.

    I cannot agree with your reference to the KKK and do not put James Dobson in that kind of catagory at all.

    While I did note Ken’s comments like you suggested, I do not agree with them and do not think the entire religious representation to the APA can be based on one person or organization, whether those allegations can be proven or not.

    In the spirit of fairness and equality for all, I do think there needs to be a balance and I am very sorry the religious representation was discrimminated against and will not be able to speak for all those others who need a voice in this matter. It is very difficult for me to think you or anyone else would think this is right or fair for them as well.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    Some of those listed on the letter are informed and informative on issues of unwanted same-sex attractions. However, that is not what the signatories of that letter have in common.

    That singular identifier that all signers have in common is that they all believe that homosexuality is unacceptable. Most share an expressed hostility towards gay identified people and many have been active in seeking to deny gay people any measure of equality under law.

    The APA was not approach by a pro-reorientation group but rather by an anti-gay coalition. As such, no accomodation should be granted.

    If those who truly seek to represent same-sex strugglers wish to establish that they represent clients, this would be appropriate. I imagine that the APA could entertain some coalition of Exodus, Evergreen, private therapists, yourself, or other who have direct clients. But political/religious organizations such as Focus or the Southern Baptists – none of whom have same-sex attracted clients – should have no say in therapy.

  • Eddy

    Warren

    In the original topic comments, you mentioned that the APA is not closed and that they have been responsive to individual input. It does seem possible, and quite likely in this instance, that they view this particular Christian delegation as politically motivated.

    If that’s their motivation, I can live with it and will hope that a growing number of articulate voices will continue to weigh in with the committee.

    ——

    Timothy, Ann

    A little side note. While digging more into HTML, one of the first things they said was ‘and, by all means, stop using the ‘i’ and ‘b’ inside the carets, that’s old school.’

    I laughed. It works…I finally learned how to do it…so proud of myself…and then learn I’m still in the dark ages. As for now, I’m going to keep on using them until I digest the larger HTML picture. Ann, now that you’ve learned the caret trick, google “HTML codes” and it will lead you to some basic HTML info. I even found an interactive color wheel that was a bit of fun.

    Jayhuck

    I agree with David that the assumption that psychology is scientific is laughable. Parts of it are reliant on science but I think it’s a huge stretch to call psychology ‘science’. Psychology is simply the study of the human mind. If the possessor of that human mind is strongly motivated by Christian beliefs, psychology ought to study that. I’m not saying ‘cave in to Christian beliefs’; I’m saying study beliefs and their potential, for good or for bad, to impact behavior and identity.

    I’ve said this before but it goes to what you’ve said yet again. If I need therapeutic assistance, I don’t want to be limited to just a Christian counselor. Regardless of how unbiased they might be in the counseling session, the fact that they are identified as a ‘Christian counselor’ tells me more about how they’d wish I’d respond than I need to know.

  • http://www.JimPhelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Ken please don’t get me stated on the so-called research conducted by Evelyn Hooker! You’d gain more respect just agreeing with the social advocacy matter.

    The problem with the Hooker’s (1957) conclusion was that the MMPI, was not intended to measure comprehensive psychopathological differences between two groups, in reference to sexual orientation. It merely was intended to give clues about a patient’s personality characteristics. Further, early use of the MMPI was not meant to measure homoerotism anyhow. Even subsequent research with a scale to detect homoerotic inversion had been unable to differentiate a homosexual from a heterosexual (Wong, 1984 as mentioned in Craig, 1987; Oberstione & Sukoneck, 1989). Additionally, it was not surprising that gays and lesbians probably were not any less intelligent or had lower academic performances than the general population (Braaten and Darling, 1965; Vilhotti, 1958), although they do differ slightly in certain aspects thereof or related thereof. Freud noted this as well as he was impressed with Linardo Di a Vinni’s genues (Freud, 1910).

    Hooker’s findings only justified the conclusion that homosexuality, in and of itself, does not necessarily mean social maladjustment. A person can be pathological and still appear to function well in society. This, Freud discussed many years earlier, and therefore was not a landmark conclusion. Hooker’s conclusions certainly did not support her discussions intellegically. For the same matter, pedophiles and serial killers, for example have adjusted very well in society and can score well on functional scales.

    How’s about these findings in a 1967 Hooker’s ethnographic study of gay bars:

    Hooker (1967) conducted a study of gay bars for over a 7-year period. She declared the gay bar to be a sex market. She noted that gays would make rounds to seek sexual contacts. She found that the homosexual community to be a community of deviants. The gay bar was said to be a place where sex could be had without obligation or commitment. It was also youth orientated, whereas the young and masculine were prowled. Those over the age of 35 found it harder to find sex. Since that was the case, they usually had to pay for it. Hooker, E. (1967). The homosexual community. In J.H. Gagnon & W. Simon Eds.), Sexual deviance. (p. 167-198). New York: Harper & Row.

    (Just her observation)

  • jag

    Warren -

    “If the APA has concerns about FOTF, the leadership should have taken the opportunity to engage FOTF in a dialogue instead of copping an excuse.”

    Please Warren, you are assuming that the APA (or anyone) believes that FOTF has any credibility. It doesn’t.

    Frankly, the whole scientific community feels that way about FOTF…they are a joke/disaster in academics. Much like Britney Spears is to the entertainment community. She obviously has some true concerning problems that are underlying…but in the end, she always ends up being caught without her panties and everybody shaking their head. FOTF is much like this.

    Dobson has proven that even when you give him research, he either: a. doesn’t know how to read it, or b. distorts it intentionally to his own ends. Either way, it doesn’t bode well.

    Surely, after the multiple distortions, etc..you see this.

    He’s just embarassing. Good for APA, not stooping to that level.

  • http://www.JimPhelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    PS: Did I fail to mention the 1957 study’s lack of randomization. Nothing wrong with hand picked samples…. By the way was there lots of replication of this study? ummm, let’s see, can I count that high…….ummm

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Those who do not favor a formal meeting between APA and the religious coalition, please share your thoughts about why PFLAG and the Task Force do get such consideration.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    And KKK analogies will be deleted henceforth — as will Nazi and any other discussion-stopping, irrelevant analogies that are offered.

  • Ann

    “Much like Britney Spears is to the entertainment community. She obviously has some true concerning problems that are underlying…but in the end, she always ends up being caught without her panties and everybody shaking their head.”

    Jag,

    This sounds so judgemental to me – are you making an observation or a judgement on another individual just because she doesn’t fit in with your way of thinking?

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    The point isn’t that psychology is suffering from being known as a “weak science”, the problem is that it needs to move in a more scientific direction – and I think there are many therapists that would like for this to happen. It can become a “stronger science” but that will never happen if we let religious ideologies affect the practice.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I’m saying study beliefs and their potential, for good or for bad, to impact behavior and identity.

    The study of beliefs is something that should happen, but it should be an empirical, scientific study, and it shouldn’t just include Christianity – it should include all faiths, traditions and belief systems – in part to be in keeping with not “caving in” to Christianity.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Hooker (1967) conducted a study of gay bars for over a 7-year period. She declared the gay bar to be a sex market.

    Geez, thanks for the gratuitous and irrelevant insults and insinuations.

    I wouldn’t know much about those 1967 gay bars. But Hooker would certianly be shocked about straight bars if she spent 10 minutes on the Sunset Strip. (Ya know, the hot part of town where the young and the beautiful trip over themselves to see starlets without underwear vomit in the streets).

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Those who do not favor a formal meeting between APA and the religious coalition, please share your thoughts about why PFLAG and the Task Force do get such consideration.

    I think that PFLAG has a GREAT DEAL to contribute about the mental health of individuals entering reorientation therapy. Often they were the parents pushing their kids into such therapy and have seen the consequences. Further, they are uniquely able to discuss family dynamics and how that came to play into both efforts at reorientation and attitudes that fostered a decision to seek such efforts.

    Granted they are primarily (but not entirely) supportive of accepting orientation (we must recall that PFLAG as an organization is welcoming to parents that think homosexuality is sinful and wrong). But there is no other group out there with this parental perspective.

    And no, PFOX is not such a group. As best I can tell, they almost entirely consist of a few mothers that have a distant and strained relationship with their openly gay kids along with a handful of ex-gays and the support of anti-gay activists. Nonetheless, I would not be opposed to the APA listening to PFOX.

    As for NGLTF, I suppose it has to do with the extensive report they researched and issued about reorientation efforts. Personally, I think they got it entirely wrong, as we all know. But they do at least have some place from which to talk.

    Now Warren, can you please explain to me why you think the head of the Assemblies of God has anything to contribute about reorientation?

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I’m confused – If the reason you’re having a problem with your sexuality is due to your Christian beliefs, why wouldn’t you want to go to a Christian Counselor? Are you saying you’d want to go to a secular counselor?

  • jayhuck

    Jim,

    I don’t believe the point was to support all of Hooker’s research but to say that it was one of the things that sparked the APA to revisit the “pathology” of homosexuality – but WOW – we do appreciate all of the unnecessary information.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Yes Timothy the NGLTF did get it wrong and misused research in the process, yet the APA met with them.

    As for the Assemblies of God and other religious bodies, they have an interest in their members who are same-sex attracted having respectful care provided by psychologists. I don’t think they have much to do with reorientation but the APA task force has a charge to address therapies that work with clients to address behavioral expressions of orientation (behavior) as well as orientation. And so religious bodies seeking respect for their members with their religious views on par with how the professions respect other diversity variables (of which religion is one) are seeking to create a dialogue.

    In contrast to anonymous, I think it is weak to say to the coalition to just go away, in light of the APA’s recent resolution on religious diversity. The APA leadership is missing a real opportunity to engage a viable group of people and work toward a better relationship.

  • jayhuck

    Warren,

    “As for the Assemblies of God and other religious bodies, they have an interest in their members who are same-sex attracted having respectful care provided by psychologists.”

    I still fail to see where the APA comes in in all this. My understanding is that therapists are there to treat disorders. Homosexuality is not a disorder. If a person believes that it is a spiritual issue, then how can a therapist – other than referring that person to the appropriate clergy – possibly benefit someone. A therapist should not have to be subject to the whimsies of all available religious beliefs that exist – from Christian to Scientologist. Evangelical Christians, or even Western Monotheistic religions are not the only religious bodies who believe they are able to help people walk away from homosexuality. If the APA lets in the views of Evangelicals, why not Scientologists? And then where does this stop?

  • http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/ José Solano

    Dr. James Dobson’s Credentials:

    Ph.D. in Child Development, Univ. of Southern California

    MS, Univ. of Southern California

    BA in Psychology, Pasadena College

    Honorary Doctorates from Pepperdine Univ., Franciscan Univ. of Steubenville, Seattle Pacific Univ., Asbury Theological Seminary, MidAmerican Nazarene College, Liberty Univ., Campbell Univ., Point Loma Nazarene College, Biola Univ., Abilene Christian College, Greenville College, William Tyndale College, Harding Univ., Indiana Wesleyan Univ.

    Associate clinical professor at Univ. of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years. Served for 17 years on the Attending Staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics.

    Licensed psychologist in California and licensed marriage, family and child counselor in California and Colorado.

    Author of numerous books.

    I thought that the connection between psychology and religion since Jung has been known to be very close as both are concerned with the cure of souls. Why should the APA be refusing dialogue and consultation from the religious?

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    Please don’t assume words are there when they aren’t.

    I said: I’m saying study beliefs and their potential, for good or for bad, to impact behavior and identity. If I meant to say “Christian beliefs” I would have.

  • concerned

    The problem I am having with this idea that religion should play no role in scientific research is that I see many in the scientific community that really have made science their new religion. If one cannot see this they have been blinded by their own deceptions. Scientology at least has the guts to amit this is what they are doing.

  • Ann

    since there will be no representation of the religious point of view, what will happen to the people who have unwanted same gender attractions and it conflicts with their faith and values – who will be their voice with the APA? What will be their choices for therapy if not the unethical organizations that promote change or the therapists that tell them they have no choice? Does this really have to be so one sided that a whole group of people are treated with this kind of indifference?

  • ken

    Jim Phelan said in post 70192:

    Ken please don’t get me stated on the so-called research conducted by Evelyn Hooker! You’d gain more respect just agreeing with the social advocacy matter.

    Have you even read her work? Based on your comments I suspect you’ve only read the NARTH comments of her work. If you did read it, you clearly didn’t understand what she was doing.

    The problem with the Hooker’s (1957) conclusion was that the MMPI, was not intended to measure comprehensive psychopathological differences between two groups, in reference to sexual orientation.

    That’s the point! She was showing that therapists at the time were biasing their interpretations of standard psych. tests based on their knowledge of the patients’ sexual orientation, and to show the theories were based on biased samples (gay men in therapy) that were not representative of all gay men.

    from post 70196:

    PS: Did I fail to mention the 1957 study’s lack of randomization. Nothing wrong with hand picked samples

    Not for the purpose of her study. Which you would realize if you actually understood what she was doing.

    Evelyn Hooker was trying to disprove the commonly held notion that if you were homosexual you where psychologically disturbed. She was not making an analysis of the mental health of the overall gay population. To disprove a rule you simply need a counter-example, it doesn’t matter what method you use to find that counter-example.

    For example, if I want to disprove the notion that “All apples are red”, all I have to do is find 1 tree that produces non-red apples. It doesn’t matter how I found the tree, merely that it exists. If I wanted to make claims about percentages of non-red apples I would need a random sample, but that isn’t what Evelyn Hooker was doing with her study.

    By the way was there lots of replication of this study?

    Depends on what replication you are looking for. Using the same psych tests to compare blind samples of straight and gay men, probably none. Studying gays drawn from the general population rather than just those in therapy, a great deal.

    The importance of Evelyn Hooker’s research is that it showed the APA that they were basing their opinions on biased samples. It caused them to re-examine their ideas about homosexuality and that is what lead to the removal of homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Warren,

    Am I understanding correctly that the reason the head of the Assemblies of God signed the letter was out of concern for the respect of their members in psychiatric care? Really?

    I think that we clearly have very different understandings of the theology and worldview of Penticostal denominations. Being raised in the parsonage of a Penticostal church gave me a perspective that suggests entirely different reasons for the signing of the letter.

    I repeat what I said above. This is NOT a group interested in supporting reorientation through psychiatric means. This is a group interested in opposing homosexuality. That and that alone is the common thread.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Timothy – Not quite got it yet.

    Homosexuality is not a disorder as you know and so their members are not in “psychiatric care” of necessity when they seek counseling help to understand homosexuality and how they can live in accord with AOG teaching as people who are attracted to the same sex.

    The original letter and request really is a departure from business as usual. You are correct – this is not a group interested in supporting reorientation through psychiatric means. It is a group seeking to support their members who seek services from APA members.

  • Mike Airhart

    I don’t see an obvious role for the NGLTF any more than for FOTF — both are political organizations, not family support organizations.

    Even if FOTF were religious, it does not represent a religious cross-section, but rather one religious extreme. Those of you who defend FOTF here have not advocated that the APA meet with Soulforce, Dignity, Beyond Ex-Gay, the Metropolitan Community Churches, the United Church of Christ, or the U.S. Episcopal church. Therefore, it seems to me, your own agenda is not religious fairness, but more political partisanship.

    Finally, Warren misidentified both PFLAG and NGLTF as “gay advocacy groups.” Neither is gay, and neither promote homosexuality. They promote respect, affirmation, and the constitutional rights of people who are same-sex-attracted. I assume Warren inadvertently shortened or simplified FOTF’s phrase “pro-gay advocacy groups” which is less misleading but still inaccurate.

  • ken

    Warren asked in post 70280:

    Those who do not favor a formal meeting between APA and the religious coalition, please share your thoughts about why PFLAG and the Task Force do get such consideration.

    PFLAG is an organization that has shown it is interested in helping glbt people and their families. I’m not really familiar with the NGLTF. When they were shown they misrepresented research how did they respond?

    Further, I suspect if a coalition of reputable religious therapists and organizations approached the APA, the APA would listen. In fact you seemed to suggest that in your initial post here.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Ken,

    Yes, I read the Hooker studies. Yes, of course, I would agree, samples of people in therapy (clinical samples) are not representative of all. But, instead I guess you are satified with the fact that she hand picked her samples?

    You said: “Using the same psych tests to compare blind samples of straight and gay men, probably none. Studying gays drawn from the general population rather than just those in therapy, a great deal.”

    So, you are not at least concerned that there was no cross replication of the same study in question (e.g same study done in other states, or other countries, etc).

    A great deal, you say, please name a few.

    “The importance of Evelyn Hooker’s research is that it showed the APA that they were basing their opinions on biased samples. It caused them to re-examine their ideas about homosexuality and that is what lead to the removal of homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM.”

    Yes, and her sample was bias, too! No, it (the study) did not cause the APA to re-examine their ideas about homosexuality, social advocacy did, so they pulled this as ole’ study as their so-called “proof”, “evidence”, or whatever you want to call it. Sorry, Charlie. If it smells like a rotten fish, it is one! If “research” was so important to the APA in 1973, why did they use a study produced in the 1950′s for God’s sake, don’t you think they’d do a current full scale reappaisal after calling homosexaulity a pathology for over 20 years after your beloved study?! Cut me a break, Ken! Like I said, you’d be better off just agreeing with the the social advocacy matters.

  • jayhuck

    Jim,

    “Yes, and her sample was bias, too! No, it (the study) did not cause the APA to re-examine their ideas about homosexuality, social advocacy”

    My understanding is that it took the APA an entire year before they de-pathologized homosexuality – and regardless of what sparked the APA to revisit homosexuality, they did and as a group found it to not be a disorder. I’m sorry it doesn’t support your own personal agenda and beliefs, but that is the way it is.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    since there will be no representation of the religious point of view, what will happen to the people who have unwanted same gender attractions and it conflicts with their faith and values

    I believe that therapists SHOULD take a persons religious values into consideration, but therapists can only go so far with these issues. Therapists are there to treat disorders, and homosexuality is not a disorder – they are not in the business of catering to the beliefs of all the different world religions – that is historically what the clergy have been for – and it is a role that I believe the clergy need to reprise.

    There are already plenty of ethical Christian therapists out there – if they want to try and treat people and these clients go in of their own free will, then I see no problem with that. I simply take issue with a body of therapists who are supposed to remain objective, having to includ the various desires, whims, beliefs, what have you, of all different sorts of religions. They most likely aren’t trained in spirituality or in theology, and these are spiritual issues.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    It is a group seeking to support their members who seek services from APA members.

    Unless the AoG has changed significantly since my childhood (which is certainly possible), they would not be much in favor of same-sex attracted church members seeking services from APA members to understand them. Prayer, yes; fasting, yes; pastoral counseling, likely; exorcism, possibly; Exodus type program, perhaps; counseling with an APA therapist, I don’t think so. I don’t think I’m exagerating when I say that many if not most AoG pastors view secular therapy as a tool of Satan.

    This is why this whole message of care about their constituents strikes me as disingenuous.

  • Ann

    Mike,

    I am sorry – I meant to say that I can only speak for myself and you are incorrect.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Timothy, I was somewhat surprised but pleased by their involvement and see it as a sign of recognition that methods can flex without losing their beliefs.

  • Ann

    I laughed. It works…I finally learned how to do it…so proud of myself

    Eddy,

    I learned how to do it too – Timothy’s instructions were great

  • http://www.JimPhelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Jayhuck said: “My understanding is that it took the APA an entire year before they de-pathologized homosexuality – and regardless of what sparked the APA to revisit homosexuality, they did and as a group found it to not be a disorder. I’m sorry it doesn’t support your own personal agenda and beliefs, but that is the way it is.”

    At least Jayhuck says, “regardless”, in other words he doesn’t give a rat’s — how it really got out (that is, science or advocacy) but that it is not there. OK, lesson time: Don’t forget it’s not just my personal beliefs, but the APA, World Health Organization, and a many other people who says homosexuality is a disorder if a person is distressed about it and seeks therapy to change it:

    The World Health Organization lists egodystonic sexual orientation in the ICD-10, under “Psychological and behavioural disorders associated with sexual development and orientation”. The WHO describes it thus: The gender identity or sexual preference (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual…) is not in doubt, but the individual wishes it were different because of associated psychological and behavioural disorders, and may seek treatment in order to change it.

    The diagnostic category of “ego-dystonic homosexuality” was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM in 1987 (with the publication of the DSM-III-R), but still remains in the DSM-IV under the category of “sexual disorder not otherwise specified” including “persistent and marked distress about one’s sexual orientation”.

    YES, “change” and “distressed”. NOW I know that doesn’t support your own personal agenda and beliefs, but that is the way it is! Deal with it.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Timothy, I was somewhat surprised but pleased by their involvement and see it as a sign of recognition that methods can flex without losing their beliefs.

    Knowing something of the AG, I still have to be quite skeptical of them being concerned about psychological/psychiatric anything, for their members or otherwise. My experience with them is much more recent than childhood, and even referring to psychology for answers was considered “worldly.”

    I haven’t seen a decent response to comment #70129. Timothy makes a valid point.

  • ken

    Jim Phelan asked 70358:

    But, instead I guess you are satified with the fact that she hand picked her samples?

    yes, I am. I already explained why that didn’t matter in regards to the research see was conducting. Perhaps you’d care to explain why (and how) you think it effected (invalidated) the results? (feel free to use the red apples analogy if you like)

    So, you are not at least concerned that there was no cross replication of the same study in question (e.g same study done in other states, or other countries, etc).

    Not at all. I believe history has shown her to be correct in her assertions that gay people can be just as psychologically well-adjusted as straight people can.

    “Studying gays drawn from the general population rather than just those in therapy, a great deal.”

    A great deal, you say, please name a few.

    Frankly you can pick just about any studies done on gays since the late 70s. However, here are a couple of citations if you like:

    King, M., E. McKeown, J. Warner, A. Ramsay, K. Zohnson, C. Cort, L. Wright, R. Blizard, and O. Davidson. “Mental Health and Quality of Life of Gay Men and Lesbians in England and Wales”, British Journal of Psychiatry, 183, 552-558. Dec. 2003

    Golombok, S. & Tasker, F. “Do parents influence the sexual orientation of their children? Findings from a longitudinal study of lesbian families”, . Developmental Psychology, 32, 3-11.

    No, it (the study) did not cause the APA to re-examine their ideas about homosexuality, social advocacy did, so they pulled this as ole’ study as their so-called “proof”, “evidence”, or whatever you want to call it.

    The it I referred to was Evelyn Hooker’s research, not the single paper published in 1957. She (and others) published several studies through out the 1960s and she lead the NIMH Task force that studied homosexuality which produced its final report in 1969. All of this influenced the APA to re-examine its stance on homosexuality. Note, there was no single reason or paper that caused the APA to remove homosexuality as a disorder. It is quite likely that social advocacy did have some influence. However, I doubt it had anywhere near the influence you have implied in your posts. And I have yet to see any real evidence to the contrary.

  • Eddy

    Way up in 70352, Mike Airhart ‘corrected’ Warren thusly:

    Finally, Warren misidentified both PFLAG and NGLTF as “gay advocacy groups.” Neither is gay, and neither promote homosexuality. They promote respect, affirmation, and the constitutional rights of people who are same-sex-attracted. I assume Warren inadvertently shortened or simplified FOTF’s phrase “pro-gay advocacy groups” which is less misleading but still inaccurate.

    I really wish that people would stop corrupting the language to suit their agendas. I’ve checked and double-checked and Warren’s usage is entirely correct and Mike’s ‘correction’ is totally off base. Take a ‘blind advocacy’ group or a ‘wheelchair advocacy’ group as an example. The usage does not suggest that those in the group are blind or in a wheelchair; neither does it suggest that they promote blindness or legs that don’t function properly. An advocacy group, by definition, is simply a group that speaks up for the rights of those it advocates. Warren’s usage is accurate.

  • jayhuck

    Ken,

    You will notice that some ex-gay and NARTH supporters are a bit myopic when it comes to the topic of the de-pathologizing of homosexuality by the APA. For them, it is always and only about the terrible pressure put on the APA by “activist groups” and nothing else – as if the APA wasn’t comprised of intelligent men and women who could think for themselves.

  • http://www.JimPhelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Ken, you claim that a “great deal” of studies support that gays drawn from the general population rather than just those in therapy, show good functioning. Then I gave you the opportunity to cite some and you cite two, one titled, “Mental Health and Quality of Life of Gay Men and Lesbians in England and Wales”. Do you honestly think gays in a study done with samples in England and Wales qualifies to be generalized? Ken, really, I know you feel strongly about holding on to what you believe, but at least say this is your opinion, and not cite research that doesn’t hold water. You might get more respect just by saying it is your opinion and belief. I mean when we rack and stack the research that compares homosexuals and heterosexuals, be it be clinical or nonclinical samples, homosexuals fair worse on many factors. NOW, yes, some individual gays are the exception, they don’t fit the general mold, however, as a whole subgroup gays come out as more pathological than their heterosexual counterparts as a subgroup. Now, yes there are SOME heterosexuals that go way off the charts, no doubt, and yes, I see pro-gays love to point them out and say “see, look!” but as a subgroup, heterosexuals fair much better than gays. Sorry, that’s just the facts.

  • Ann

    as if the APA wasn’t comprised of intelligent men and women who could think for themselves.

    Jayhuck,

    I think intelligent men and women can be influenced and base their decisions on feelings rather than critical thinking – Bill Clinton comes to mind :-)

    Timothy,

    Thank you for lesson #2

  • Eddy

    So, when I sought help for dealing with peer pressure back in 1972 (the year prior to the declassification) and my counselor from the community mental health clinic wanted to fix my homosexuality, where was his adult intelligence and why wasn’t he being true to it? Why wasn’t he or any other community sponsored counselor thinking for themselves?

  • ken

    Jim Phelan said:

    Do you honestly think gays in a study done with samples in England and Wales qualifies to be generalized?

    Generalized to what? I just cited 2 studies, what I said was you can pick just about any (reputable) study done on gays since the late 70s.

    You might get more respect just by saying it is your opinion and belief.

    Like you did with your claims about the reasons the APA removed homosexuality from the DSM?

    Specifically, what statements have I made that are just my “opinion and belief” but you think I was presenting as a fact?

    I mean when we rack and stack the research that compares homosexuals and heterosexuals, be it be clinical or nonclinical samples, homosexuals fair worse on many factors.

    I believe this statement to be accurate. I also believe you could make the same comparisons between whites and blacks and also show how blacks fair worse on many factors (although not necessarily identical factors).

    You still haven’t responded to my questions about what was wrong with how Evelyn Hooker selected the gay men in her 1957 study.

  • Eddy

    Jim, Ken–

    Please, for the sake of the children, it’s ‘fare worse’ not ‘fair worse’. :-)

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    I see, Ken, you like many Americans see black people to be represented as hyper sexual beings and sexual predators perpetuated by both pop culture and the mass media (pimps & players, hoochies & hos, and rapists of white women). And, we at NARTH are so called, “racists”?

    Now, would you like to reference what large scale, random study compared blacks and whites on pathological factors?

    By the way, the people who are in San Francisco getting “married” are almost exclusively white, whereas many of the people who oppose it are black.

    Ken said: “You still haven’t responded to my questions about what was wrong with how Evelyn Hooker selected the gay men in her 1957 study.”

    Ken, the sample was hand picked from an organization she was friends with, whereas the gold standard would have been random. She recruited 30 of the finest homosexual subjects through the assistance of “homophile” groups like the Mattachine Society, meaning that the men were more content with their lives than the average homosexual and eager to prove that they were well adjusted.

  • Ann

    Eddy,

    #70742 – funny!

  • ken

    Ann said in post 70603:

    I think intelligent men and women can be influenced and base their decisions on feelings rather than critical thinking

    Just to clarify your position Ann. Do you believe the APA decided to remove homosexuality as a disorder due to feelings rather than critical thinking?

  • Ann

    Ken,

    Yes, I think the APA was influenced by their feelings then and apparently with this latest decision, still are.

  • concerned

    Ken,

    No, I think they decided to remove homosexuality because of a strong progay lobby with inaccurate and incomplete information.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    I think intelligent men and women can be influenced and base their decisions on feelings rather than critical thinking – Bill Clinton comes to mind

    I agree with this to a point. I think individuals are much more susceptible to it, but groups, especially one as large as the APA, much less so. And they didn’t just remove homosexuality overnight – they spent almost a year doing this.

  • Ann

    I think individuals are much more susceptible to it, but groups, especially one as large as the APA, much less so

    Jayhuck,

    Here are a few examples of large groups to consider who made decisions based on self interest rather than critical thinking about how it affects others – The Catholic Church, the foster care system, police cover-ups, fraudulent ministries, the AMA and drug and insurance companies defending each other, etc. The APA has now revealed themselves to be of the same ilk.

  • ken

    Jim Phelan said in post 70800:

    I see, Ken, you like many Americans see black people to be represented as hyper sexual beings and sexual predators perpetuated by both pop culture and the mass media (pimps & players, hoochies & hos, and rapists of white women). And, we at NARTH are so called, “racists”?

    No, I don’t believe that about blacks at all. That is just you allowing your own biases to read more into what I said than is actually there. What I said was that I believe, using your same methods for gays, that blacks would also be shown to be worse off in regards to mental health than whites. I said nothing about believing the problem being inherent to blacks or about the causation at all. I believe bigotry has more to do with these correlations than any inherent flaws in blacks, or gays. The whole purpose of my bringing this matter up was to highlight how your own biases against gays are causing you to misinterpret what you read.

    Now, would you like to reference what large scale, random study compared blacks and whites on pathological factors?

    I don’t know of any. I never claimed any exists (or doesn’t exist). However, the discussion was about preponderance of the research (“rack and stack the research” was the phrase you used) not any single study. I think it is quite deceptive of you to try to change the issue in this manner.

    the sample was hand picked from an organization she was friends with, whereas the gold standard would have been random

    Only if she were trying to draw conclusions about gays in general. Not if she were simply trying to prove the existence of a group of well-adjusted gay men, with no mental illness.

    So again to clarify your position:

    Do you believe the lack of random sampling in Evelyn Hooker’s 1957 study invalidated her results? If so, how?

  • ken

    Concerned said in post 70924:

    No, I think they decided to remove homosexuality because of a strong progay lobby with inaccurate and incomplete information.

    Were you aware (prior to forming this opinion) of the research done on gays in the late 1950 and through the 1960s?

    What inaccurate information are you referring to?

    Do you believe the APA was wrong to remove homosexuality as a disorder?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ann and Ken,

    Regardless of the reasons for removing homosexuality as a disorder, considering the decades of observation and research since that time, would you not agree that homosexuality ought not be classified as a disorder?

  • jayhuck

    Concerned,

    No, I think they decided to remove homosexuality because of a strong progay lobby with inaccurate and incomplete information.

    I don’t believe there’s enough evidence to back this up. Of course there WAS a lobby, and as any Ex-Gay group will tell you, the small lobby was able to brainwash an entire group of well-educated men and women in the field, but I think if you look at the history of homosexuality and the APA, you’ll see a much more complex story. The fact that it nearly took them a year to remove homosexuality from the DSM says something in and of itself. It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t just start when the pro-gay lobby became more vocal or powerful.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    Here are a few examples of large groups to consider who made decisions based on self interest rather than critical thinking about how it affects others

    I highly suggest you research the history behind the development of the removal of homosexuality from the DSM. It should also concern you that nearly all the people who believe it was simply the gay lobby who did this, are very conservative people or Ex-Gay groups who DO have something to gain by saying so. Besides, what would the APA have gained necessarily? The APA was not, at the time, what I would call a pro-gay voice – and gay people may have been organized but they were nowhere near the powerhouse so many people – especially on the far right – try and make them out to be.

    Before you go pointing fingers at the APA, I suggest you understand the group at the time, what they did and did not do before and during the removal of homosexuality from the DSM? What did they say while they were making this decision over the course of a year? And ask yourself – at the time – what the APA could have gained for removing this?

    Heck, I don’t even know some of this information, but I know enough to know that they didn’t do it without thought or debate. – Good grief. There’s nothing I can think of that the APA – especially at the time – 1973 – would have gained by doing this.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    Don’t you find it a little curious that anti-groups are so vocal about their belief that the APA caved to pro-gay voices? Who is the group that is really doing things out of self-interest?????

  • ken

    Tim asked in post 71025:

    would you not agree that homosexuality ought not be classified as a disorder?

    I’m not sure you meant to address this question to me, I would have thought my opinion on the matter was pretty. clear 8-;

    However, in case you really aren’t sure, I do not think homosexuality should be classified as a disorder.

  • ken

    Jayhuck said in post 71056:

    I think if you look at the history of homosexuality and the APA, you’ll see a much more complex story. The fact that it nearly took them a year to remove homosexuality from the DSM says something in and of itself. It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t just start when the pro-gay lobby became more vocal or powerful.

    I just want to clarify, the initiative to remove homosexuality as a disorder didn’t start in 1972 (the year before it was removed) either. The NIMH task force on homosexuality was formed in the late 60s. The creation of this task force shows that psychologists and psychiatrists were already re-evaluating what they knew (and thought they knew) about homosexuality.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I’m sorry, Ken.

    I meant Ann and Concerned:

    Do you think homosexuality should be classified as a disorder?

    I very much look forward to your answer.

  • http://www.JimPhelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Ken said: “What I said was that I believe, using your same methods for gays, that blacks would also be shown to be worse off in regards to mental health than whites.”

    What methods? I never claimed to own methods. What I said was that in many comparison studies gays fare worse than their heterosexual counterparts. You said so would blacks IF compared to whites, now it’s IF because you admit you know no studies to support comparisons between whites and blacks which would show how blacks fare worse on “many factors (although not necessarily identical factors)”, now alluding to mental illness. Ken, you accuse me of being deceptive by changing issues in this manner, but yet you change the issue of sexual orientation to race.

    You say, “Do you believe the lack of random sampling in Evelyn Hooker’s 1957 study invalidated her results? If so, how?”

    Her results were what they were from the standpoint of a very small convenience sample (a random sample would be more superior). In other words, it didn’t really provide huge findings that could be said of gays in general. You said, “Only if she were trying to draw conclusions about gays in general”. Perhaps, personally she did not, but the APA and interests groups cited her study as if it fit all gays, using it as a sounding board toward the removal of homosexuality as a disorder. If you recall this thread is about a major US demographic group being denied its voice to the APA. I made the point that it was the efforts of interests groups who had a bearing on the APA’s decision in 1973 to remove homosexuality from it’s manual of disorders. Recently, APA solicited opinion from gay advocacy groups in regard to the sexual orientation task force newest mandates but thus far has declined to meet with a large religious coalition which asked for a meeting regarding that same mandate. Now, would you really like to talk about bias?

  • Ann

    It should also concern you that nearly all the people who believe it was simply the gay lobby who did this, are very conservative people or Ex-Gay groups who DO have something to gain by saying so.

    Jayhuck,

    It does not conern me because I don’t think what you said here is completely accurate.

  • Ann

    Don’t you find it a little curious that anti-groups are so vocal about their belief that the APA caved to pro-gay voices?

    Jayhuck,

    No, because just like any other group of people who have a belief, they will be vocal about it until heard.

  • jayhuck

    Ken,

    Thank you for that. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know everything about the removal of homosexuality from the DSM, but what I do know is that there was a good deal of discussion, thought and debate that went into the issue, and the homosexual lobby did not have nearly as much to do with the event as many conservatives and ex-gay supporters would have us believe.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    Please tell me how that is not accurate!!!!

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    No, because just like any other group of people who have a belief, they will be vocal about it until heard.

    So basically what your saying is that if what is being said is something you don’t like or support there must be something wrong with it (ie, groups who said it must have caved into pressure from groups you don’t support) and when what is being said is something you DO support, then it’s reason for being said couldn’t be a result of self-interest. I think I’ve heard all I need to hear now

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    BTW – If the APA at the time really did do this out of purely self-interest, what would they have gained? I’m curious what your answer is.

  • concerned

    Timothy,

    To appease you on this issue, I do not believe that homosexual people are disordered human beings, but I have seen and felt enough damage done to the emotional development of many who practice this behaviour without restraint to definitely say that this behaviour is disordered.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    And I’m still waiting for Ann or Concerned to tell us if they think that homosexuality should be classified as a disorder.

    Because otherwise what is the point of the debate over what happened three decades ago?

    You want to answer, guys?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Jayhuck, Ken,

    Maybe they’ll answer if you ask.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    I get busy for a few days and y’all have a commentpalooza without me.

    I guess 1973 is related here. In my opinion, the APA was in the middle of a big change with regard to diagnosis needing to be based on something besides psychodynamics. Bob Spitzer came along and wanted to make psychiatry more uniform and provide uniform categories where there was some functional basis for calling something a mental disorder. Homosexuality would eventually have come out of the DSM series for those who were not troubled by it. The residual distress category seems about right to me.

    I know many conservatives believe pro-gay pressure was responsible. However, let’s remember that in 1973, the gay support groups were not well organized and not nearly as visible as today. The people who crashed some meetings at APA were a small group and could easily have been dismissed with little societal repercussions. My understanding is that when Bob Spitzer and others found out who their gay colleagues were, he could not imagine such high functioning people qualifying for a mental disorder. Inability to function in life (love and work as Freud said it) was key for mental disorder. And homosexual attraction or behavior per se does not prevent this. From Freud’s viewpoint, something in development was likely behind what he called inversion, but he did not regard it as a degeneration. To quote Freud in favor of homosexuality being classed as mental disorder as defined today is an incorrect reading in my view.

  • ken

    Jim asked in post 71207:

    What methods?

    Your method of carefully selecting research to support what you want.

    You said so would blacks IF compared to whites, now it’s IF because you admit you know no studies to support comparisons between whites and blacks which would show how blacks fare worse on “many factors (although not necessarily identical factors)”, now alluding to mental illness.

    No, there ARE studies that have compared blacks to whites on a variety of factors, including psychological ones. Now, I haven’t read these studies myself. Thus I am not prepared to make absolute statements about their results. However, I do believe they would show that blacks are worse off than whites, just as studies would show that gays are worse off than straights. What I said I didn’t know anything about was a SPECIFIC type of comparison study that you didn’t mention in your original post (70566). Unlike you, I’m willing to honestly discuss the merits of the issues, and not rely on these kinds of deceptive shenanigans.

    Ken, you accuse me of being deceptive by changing issues in this manner, but yet you change the issue of sexual orientation to race.

    I have already explained why I brought up the issue of race and it had nothing to do with trying to change the topic.

    Perhaps, personally she did not, but the APA and interests groups cited her study as if it fit all gays

    Where did the APA give this citation?

    Was it the only study cited?

    Given your previous misrepresentations, I’d prefer to see the evidence myself.

    Recently, APA solicited opinion from gay advocacy groups in regard to the sexual orientation task force newest mandates but thus far has declined to meet with a large religious coalition which asked for a meeting regarding that same mandate. Now, would you really like to talk about bias?

    I’ve already talked about bias. The bias of FOTF. See post 70084

  • jayhuck

    Commentpalooza – LOL!!!!! :)

  • ken

    Concerned said in post 71233:

    but I have seen and felt enough damage done to the emotional development of many who practice this behaviour without restraint to definitely say that this behaviour is disordered.

    I’m curious, specifically, what is this behaviour that you refer to? Can you describe it?

    And do you believe that all gays (or a large majority) engage in this behaviour?

  • concerned

    Ken,

    No I do not believe that all gays are engaging in this behaviour and perhaps my concerns are towards those that do and the damage that it brings into their life that I often see ignored by those who only want to focus on the positive view of gay life. It is not that I want to create a stereotype I just do not like seeing people suffer who cannot accept that all that is gay is good or christian churches being slandered because they see there might be another way to help people who struggle in this way.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    I respect and appreciate much of what you post here, but I do think Tim’s question is a valid one. Do you think homosexuality should be classified as a disorder?

  • Ann

    Please tell me how that is not accurate!!!!

    Jayhuck,

    The reason I don’t believe it is completely accurate is because I know too many people who are not conservative or from ex-gay groups and they feel the same way. I think the “groups and organizations” get the exposure because they are in the media – the people I am referring to are not associated with any group – just individuals.

  • Ann

    So basically what your saying is that if what is being said is something you don’t like or support there must be something wrong with it (ie, groups who said it must have caved into pressure from groups you don’t support) and when what is being said is something you DO support, then it’s reason for being said couldn’t be a result of self-interest

    Jayhuck,

    This is not what I said at all. Please re-read the post – it was very simple and to the point.

  • Ann

    BTW – If the APA at the time really did do this out of purely self-interest, what would they have gained? I’m curious what your answer is.

    Jayhuck,

    I am not sure if the APA did it out of self interest or not – I do believe they were influenced by the pro-gay activists and felt peer pressure from their gay colleagues and that all made sense to them at the time. I don’t think they wanted to gain anything – just the respect of their colleagues and what they viewed as a more updated and correct way to think.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Ken,

    You make 3 salient statements concerning yourself in post 71249:

    1. “I haven’t read these studies myself.”

    2. “Thus I am not prepared to make absolute statements”

    3. “I’d prefer to see the evidence myself”.

    Please attend to these matters and maybe we can talk. But for now, farewell and good luck.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Warren said:

    “My understanding is that when Bob Spitzer and others found out who their gay colleagues were….”

    Sure, folks like A. Kinsey and Charles Silverstein. Of course, Charles went on to write “The Joy of Gay Sex”. Oh, and Judd Marmor who so happened to be gay and APA vice at the time. Dr Satinover said, “Acceding to pressure, the organizers of the 1971 conference agreed to sponsor a special panel – not on homosexuality, but by homosexuals.” He then asserted that this was the like forming a committee of tall people assuming they were experts on the mechanisms of cell growth.

    http://www.narth.com/docs/TheTrojanCouchSatinover.pdf

    BTW: What do you mean exactly when you say, “The residual distress category”? Specifically “residual”?

  • Ann

    Do you think homosexuality should be classified as a disorder?

    Jayhuck,

    I have absolutely no qualifications or credentials to even come close to rendering an opinion about this. As I have posted many times, my concern is with the person who is struggling with unwanted feelings – not with those that are content.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Concerned,

    Please clarify which behavior you think has a disorder.

    Ann,

    I think we are all still waiting for a response from you on the matter. Jim believes homosexuality to be a disorder, Warren does not. What say you?

  • ken

    Jim Phelan said in post 71372:

    You make 3 salient statements concerning yourself in post 71249:

    Which you have taken out of context and distorted. A bad habit you seem to have.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    I am not sure if the APA did it out of self interest or not – I do believe they were influenced by the pro-gay activists and felt peer pressure from their gay colleagues and that all made sense to them at the time. I don’t think they wanted to gain anything – just the respect of their colleagues and what they viewed as a more updated and correct way to think.

    I highly recommend you read Warren’s post above concerning this. Even he realizes they – the APA – were likely not effected by the pro-gay lobby.

  • ken

    Concerned said in post 71314:

    No I do not believe that all gays are engaging in this behaviour and perhaps my concerns are towards those that do

    I’ll ask again, what specific behaviour are you talking about? Are there straight people who also exhibit these behaviours?

    and the damage that it brings into their life that I often see ignored by those who only want to focus on the positive view of gay life.

    If someone is depressed about who he is, don’t you think it would be helpful to point out the positive aspects of his life?

  • Ned Stringham

    The hypocrisy of the APA’s Task Force is stunning. Arguably, the delisting of homosexuality from the DSM was psychiatry’s most influential decision of the 20th. century. Now the American Psychological Organization’s leadership is considering new actions that could have enormous impact upon the practice of therapy for those with unwanted homosexual attractions. Considering the magnitude of this issue and and its importance to APA’s members and to American society, there is compelling justification for the Task Force to not only listen to, but also to seek divergent viewpoints in a proactive manner. Tragically, the refusal to meet with those who favor the practice of reparative therapy reveals an enormous bias and calls into question the objectivity and usefulness of any conclusions this Task Force will ultimately produce.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Ned,

    First, let me commend you on your decision to leave NARTH’s advisory committee. As they were unwilling to distance themselves from those who favored slavery, mocking as therapy, and sending children out into the snow without a coat, I can only say that you showed great judgment for severing your connection.

    I do think that the APA should listen to what you and others like yourself have to say. Have you considered approaching the task force alligned with other therapists – but without the religious and political anti-gay organizations attached?

    Surely you don’t need the Assemblies of God or the Southern Baptist Convention or Focus on the Family contributing to how therapy should be practiced. Do you?

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    I found Warren’s theory interesting, and I do believe it’s a likely contributing influence, but it wasn’t enough to make me abandon my belief that psychology responded to pressure rather than research. It does provide a new filter for re-examining though and I am ‘thinking it through’.

  • Mike Airhart

    Ned,

    I am curious to know what evidence you have that the APA has not sought divergent viewpoints.

    There’s a big difference between receiving diverse views about how best to counsel patients, and being shouted at by a hostile political coalition with no therapeutic credentials.

    I also wish to know what evidence you have that reparative therapy aids rather than deters transition to heterosexuality? APA has already researched reparative therapy and found them to be counterproductive to patients’ goals and values.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com James E. Phelan

    Mike A. said “APA has already researched reparative therapy and found them to be counterproductive to patients’ goals and values.”

    Mike, this is untrue. Please, stop these blatant destructive lies. This is no conclusive evidence that reparative therapy as been found to be counterproductive to patients’ goals and values. How do you explain those who have benefited from it?

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com James E. Phelan

    Post: 71821 Should say: There is no conclusive evidence that reparative therapy has been found to be counterproductive to patients’ goals and values.

  • jayhuck

    James,

    How do you explain those who have benefited from it?

    They believe they’ve benefited because they have to? Out of desperation? I’m sure these don’t explain all the “claims” of benefit, but I don’t doubt that some cases might fall under this category? We do know that denial can be an incredibly powerful force that can make people believe all sorts of things.

  • ken

    Mike Airhart said in post 71774:

    APA has already researched reparative therapy and found them to be counterproductive to patients’ goals and values.

    I’m not aware of any such research done by the APA. There doesn’t seem to be much research into therapy to convert gays to straight at all.

    About 10 years ago the APA convened a task force to look into the policy dealing with homosexuality (and conversion therapy), similar to the one that was just formed. What that task force found was that there is no significant research into the area of conversion therapy. Frankly, I think the fact that those who practice conversion therapy haven’t produced any significant research supporting the efficacy of such therapy in the past 10 years to be quite telling.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com James E. Phelan

    Timothy,

    I am going to ask you to please stop making these general comments about NARTH: “As they [NARTH] were unwilling to distance themselves from those who favored slavery, mocking as therapy, and sending children out into the snow without a coat…”

    This is very deceptive and hateful. You don’t like it when gays are generalized and I don’t appreciate the same being said of a membership that is homogenous, yet diverse, and who does not favor slavery, or child abuse. Stop this propaganda now. Thank you.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com James E. Phelan

    Jayhuck says,

    “They believe they’ve benefited because they have to? Out of desperation? I’m sure these don’t explain all the “claims” of benefit, but I don’t doubt that some cases might fall under this category? We do know that denial can be an incredibly powerful force that can make people believe all sorts of things.”

    Jayhuck, it is not so much about “desperation” or external force (e.g. “they have to”), but rather autonomy. Not excusing that perhaps there may be people who are desperate or heavily persuaded; we need to be careful with generalizations. People have choices. I know if may be hard for you to appreciate that there are some folks who seek therapy other than for your ascribed reasons. Further, who are you to judge? Yes, denial is “powerful”. Perhaps you suffer from it in the sense of believing people seek change for their own self of autonomy, not necessarily proposed by religion, family, society, or other external forces.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck: denial can be an incredibly powerful force that can make people believe all sorts of things.

    Show some respect for other people’s choices, Jayhuck. Your “denial” is their affirmation, just like other people’s denial of homosexuals was your “affirmation”. Why so much concern for other people’s “denial”? Does it affect your “affirmation”?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    How do you explain those who have benefited from it?

    The same way I explain alien abductions and sightings of Elvis. Perhaps they are true, but I’m still waiting for evidence.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Well, that was unfair of me.

    I do honestly believe some people benefit from ex-gay ministries. I’m not convinced that any people change their orientation as the result of such programs and I do think that they do some people harm, but I do recognize that some find comfort and meaning in them.

  • jag

    Ann -

    It was disappointing to read that you would not answer the question posed to you as to whether you believe that homosexuality is a disorder.

    I hope that you give this some more thought. Whether the attractions are wanted or not, doesn’t mean the quality is an illness in and of itself.

  • ken

    James E. Phelan said in post 71849:

    This is very deceptive and hateful.

    Perhaps a bit inaccurate (I would characterize the article as attempting to justify past slavery, not favor it), but not deceptive. Nor do I see it as hateful. Certainly, it shows his dislike for NARTH (and opinion I share as well), but not hateful.

    You don’t like it when gays are generalized and I don’t appreciate the same being said of a membership that is homogenous, yet diverse, and who does not favor slavery, or child abuse. Stop this propaganda now.

    Gays didn’t sign-up to be gay and can’t simply stop being gay because other gay people did something reprehensible (despite what NARTH claims). NARTH members can. And several did as a result of some of the things Timothy mentioned. Like it or not, you will be judged by the company you keep.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    Please see Timothy’s comments. He expressed it far better than I did – or probably could.

  • Ann

    It was disappointing to read that you would not answer the question posed to you as to whether you believe that homosexuality is a disorder.

    Jag,

    Please don’t be disappointed – I did respond – look at #71389.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I am going to ask you to please stop making these general comments about NARTH: “As they [NARTH] were unwilling to distance themselves from those who favored slavery, mocking as therapy, and sending children out into the snow without a coat…”

    This is very deceptive and hateful. You don’t like it when gays are generalized and I don’t appreciate the same being said of a membership that is homogenous, yet diverse, and who does not favor slavery, or child abuse. Stop this propaganda now. Thank you.

    Jim,

    NARTH posted on it’s site an article by Gerald Schoenewolf in which he stated that because Africa was a savage jungle that slaves exported “were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa”. This position, which was in the midst of an article on why the concerns of black Americans should be discounted, betrays a blatant and willful ignorance of history.

    Joseph Berber stated the following: “I suggest, indeed, letting children who wish go to school in clothes of the opposite sex – but not counselling other children to not tease them or hurt their feelings. On the contrary, don’t interfere, and let the other children ridicule the child who has lost that clear boundary between play-acting at home and the reality needs of the outside world. Maybe, in this way, the child will re-establish that necessary boundary.”

    Berger also said “Here in cold Canada, I often talk with mothers of small children who routinely complain about how difficult it is to get their children dressed in the winter in the multiple layers of clothing they need to go off to school. I suggest to them that they make it clear to their children that they will leave home — or that the school bus will come — at such-and-such time, and they will go whether they are ready or not. I suggest that going just one day in their pajamas or underwear will be enough to “cure” them of their procrastination.”

    Several reputable voices including Drs. Throckmorton and Blakeslee found such positions to be outside of acceptable practices and objected. NARTH refused to distance themselves from the statements of Berger and Schoenwolf.

    Both Berger and Schoenwolf are currently on the NARTH advisory committee.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Jim – On this point, I agree with Timothy. NARTH’s leadership had ample opportunity to distance the organization from Berger and Schoenewolf but those advisors are still in place. Your frustration about being associated with NARTH is understandable. There is an easy fix for that but it is not to take that frustration out on people who point out the obvious.

    The APA is regularly blasted for the direction and policies set by it’s leaders. Regularly blasted by NARTH’s leaders in fact. You cannot have it both ways.

  • http://www.exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Jim, if you want to defend NARTH it’s going to be a full time job.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com James E. Phelan

    Sorry, Warren (and others), but I don’t see it that way. I don’t “distance” myself from brilliant scholars based on people’s interpretation of them, or in one infraction. If that would be the case, I’d have nothing to do with you.

  • Pingback: Warren Throckmorton » Blog Archive » Top ten posts by number of comments, 2007


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