Thursday, June 29, 2006

About the Latest Talking Point

The CRC's Retta Brown said something at school board public comments the other day, and now I see that CRC President Michelle Turner is saying about the same thing in the The Gazette letters to the editor. Since our job here is to whack-a-mole every time these guys start twisting the truth ... here I go.

First of all, we note that these comments seem to have actually originated in an article on a Focus on the Family website, called Ex-Gay Conference Targeted with Counter Messaging -- the article was about our successful vigil outside the Love Won Out meeting in Silver Spring last month. That writer, Wendy Cloyd, quoted an FoF official saying:
"...they like to claim that all the medical organizations are against reparative therapy and that it's harmful, but the reality is that that isn't what the organizations have said," he said. "Instead, they have said that homosexuality is multi-causal and there's proof positive over the years that men and women have changed."

We can ignore that last part, because, well, nobody has said that, even the "ex-gay" organizations are not saying anybody really changes. There is definitely nothing in the literature like "proof-positive." We have people saying they've changed, and we have even seen one researcher say, on the basis of some phone interviews, that he's "convinced" that some people have changed, but there's no scientific evidence that anyone's sexual orientation has ever actually changed.

But that first sound-bite, the idea that the organizations really don't say that -- that's a good one. Because they can say it, and you have to look it up to prove them wrong, and they know you won't.

So the CRC picked up this talking point and took it to the school board.

Ms. Brown told them:
... the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, to name a few, do not say that psychotherapy to eliminate desires for same sex attraction is harmful.

(I quoted her whole statement about two posts down from this one, just focusing on this one issue right now.)

Of course NARTH supports reparative therapy, it's their only reason for existing.

How about the others, the legitimate professional organizations that she mentions?

The American Psychiatric Association has issued an official statement that says: "Reparative" therapy literature also tends to overstate the treatment's accomplishments while neglecting any potential risks to patients. --Read the whole thing. Yes, they are concerned about risk to patients.

And the other APA -- the American Psychological Association -- is even more clear about it: in an amicus curae for the Supreme Court (Lawrence v Texas), the American Psychological Association wrote: In addition to the lack of scientific evidence for the effectiveness of efforts to change sexual orientation, there is reason to believe such efforts can be harmful to the psychological well-being of those who attempt them.

That's about as clear as it's going to get.

So -- Ms. Brown's examples are wrong. NARTH exists to promote reparative therapy, they're going to say good things about it, the other two groups are mainstream professional organizations, and they both state that it's harmful.

And Ms. Turner, the CRC's President, mailed the same talking point to the newspaper -- there's her whole letter in The Gazette, just for the record:
David Fishback is spinning what the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association says about changing one’s sexual orientation (‘‘Medical profession opposes premise of conversion therapy,” June 21 Open Forum).

He states that ‘‘groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Medical Association have concluded that homosexuality per se is not a disorder and that efforts to ‘change’ one’s sexual orientation cause enormous harm.”

I agree that the AMA and the AAP each states that homosexuality is not a mental disorder; however, neither says that efforts to change one’s sexual orientation causes harm.

The AAP in a clinical report, ‘‘Sexual Orientation and Adolescents,” and authored by a few pediatricians within the AAP, deals with the medical treatment of non-heterosexual youth. It states, ‘‘Health care professionals should provide factual, current, nonjudgmental information in a confidential manner ... Pediatricians are not responsible for labeling or even identifying non-heterosexual youth.”

This report acknowledges that non-heterosexual youth ‘‘in the United States have unique health risks.”

And finally the report ends with this statement: ‘‘The guidance in this report does not indicate an exclusive course of treatment or serve as a standard of medical care. Variations, taking into account individual circumstances, may be appropriate.” There is nothing about changing one’s orientation or harm associated with it.

The statement from the AMA certainly doesn’t mean that if a person chooses to change his orientation, the medical professional should stop him from doing so. It would be unethical for the medical professional to impose ‘‘his views” on the client. Again, there is no mention of harm in this AMA statement associated with treating unwanted same-sex attraction. Spinning the truth

Let's start with Ms. Turner's comment about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Excuse me, but the fact that she found a document that doesn't say reparative therapy is harmful is, obviously, not exactly proof that they never said that. It's kind of a silly approach, quoting one ambiguous paper out of thousands that have been put out.

The AAP keeps only its most recent policy statements online. But we see that a document at the American Psychological Association web site quotes their position:
The American Academy of Pediatrics in its policy statement on Homosexuality and Adolescence states: Confusion about sexual orientation is not unusual during adolescence. Counseling may be helpful for young people who are uncertain about their sexual orientation or for those who are uncertain about how to express their sexuality and might profit from an attempt at clarification through a counseling or psychotherapeutic initiative. Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation. Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel

"Provoke guilt and anxiety" = harm. Don't do it. This is their policy, and Ms. Turner is wrong, the AAP does say reparative therapy is harmful. Or did they have to use that exact word? They mention harmful effects, any reasonable person knows what this means.

In fact, this document on the APA site is a major policy statement co-signed by ten professional groups:
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Counseling Association
  • American Association of School Administrators
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Psychological Association
  • American School Health Association
  • Interfaith Alliance Foundation
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Education Association

Go ahead, call 'em all communists or whatever, these are large organizations composed of experts in the fields that are actively and professionally involved in sorting out questions involving gay and confused adolescents.

The AAP, you notice, is one of the signatories on this document, which concludes (after quoting policy statements by a number of organizations):
As these statements make clear, health and mental health professional organizations do not support efforts to change young people's sexual orientation through "reparative therapy" and have raised serious concerns about its potential to do harm.

Well, Ms. Turner had said that the AAP didn't say that "efforts to change one's sexual orientation causes harm," but they did. A lie? I'm feeling generous, let's just say she ... obfuscated to make a point.

This document, as I recall, was included in the muchly-contested teachers' background resources from the last proposed sex-ed curriculum. Ms. Turner was on the citizens committee that reviewed those materials, so ... the scale is tipping ... ah, I'm in a good mood, let's just say she forgot.

She said the same thing about the American Medical Association (AMA), and here she may slip by on a technicality.

The AMA has a formal statement that says:
"Most of the emotional disturbance experienced by gay men and lesbians around their sexual identity is not based on physiological causes, but rather is due more to a sense of alienation in an unaccepting environment. For this reason, aversion therapy is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians. Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it." (text from JAMA HERE)

Further, a policy statement by the AMA says the group:
opposes, the use of "reparative" or "conversion" therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation. AMA policy regarding sexual orientation

Now, let me get this straight. It just may be that the AMA has not issued an official policy statement that says, specifically, that reparative therapy is "harmful." The American Academy of Pediatrics has, on several occasions. The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, mentioned in Ms. Brown's comments to the school board, do have such statements.

The AMA does have an official policy against the practice of reparative therapy. But I think maybe the CRC President has written a letter that does contain one statement that appears to be technically correct, that is, it does not appear that the AMA actually says it's harmful anywhere. They tell their members not to practice this kind of therapy, but apparently never actually, literally used the word "harmful."

As talking points go, I'd say this is a pretty weak one. All the mainstream professional medical, mental-health, and educational organizations have statements criticizing reparative therapy. Some of them declare it unethical for their members to practice it, some merely recommend that these techniques not be used, most of them point out that the reasons for using such therapy are based on prejudice and misunderstanding about the nature of homosexuality. But some of them forget to mention that it's harmful. The AMA apparently doesn't mention that fact, and they may be the only one.

Statements by the organizations have been compiled and published on the web in many places. To read some of them, click The Covenant Network of Presbyterians.

48 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Looks like the CRC ladies win another round. Other than a little anxiety (which, of course, is part of the treatment of any mental illness), these professional associations can't find anything harmful about reparative therapy. Who knew?

June 29, 2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep. They tell lies better than anybody.

June 29, 2006 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look closely. Though he tries mightily, and goes on at length, this poster can't find a statement from these associations saying reparative therapy does anything worse than cause a little anxiety. You don't need a PhD to know that trying to overcome bad tendencies is going to be a little stressful.

June 29, 2006 4:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, these are organizational policy statements, they aren't the research results that inform the policies. The fact that large organizations like these have gone to through the process of reviewing these "therapies" and issuing statements against them is sufficient.

JimK

June 29, 2006 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever studied ballet? Because you doing a pirouette that would dazzle Diaglev. Truth is these ladies made a valid point before the Board. Then you've got the chutzpah to act as if they're trying to pull a fast one. You wouldn't have any trouble finding a clear statement from medical associations that smoking or transfats are harmful but you do have that trouble with reparative therapy.

For the obvious reason that it doesn't do any harm.

June 29, 2006 4:56 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I'll go through this one more time.

These ladies, following the lead of some Family Blah Blah writer, said that the AAP, AMA, and the two APA's -- Psychological and Psychiatric -- had not said that reparative therapy was harmful.

It turns out that three of those four organizations had said it was harmful. The fourth -- AMA -- had not said exactly that, but told its members not to practice the therapy, and gave some reasons why.

All the mainstream medical and mental health organizations have issued statements against reparative therapy -- the discovery that one of the groups never used the word "harm" does not mean, as these statements try to imply, that any of these groups approve of the method.

It's just that simple.

JimK

June 29, 2006 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong again.

NARTH- supports reparative therapy

AMA- only reservation is that reparative therapy is "based on a priori assumption that patient should change their orientation"

NOTE: they claim no harm; anyway, what's wrong with this "a priori assumption" made by most of mankind through history and globally today?

AAP- Reparative therapy may cause "guilt and anxiety"

NOTE: this is a common reaction to the realization that one is engaged in immoral behavior; a little squirming never hurt anyone

APsychA- "reparative literature tends to overstate accomplishments and neglect potential risks to the patient"

NOTE: doesn't say there aren't accomplishments, just that they are overstated; more important, doesn't say there is harm but only that the possibility hasn't been considered by reparative literature

APsychA- "there is reason to believe reparative therapy can be harmful to the psychological well-being of those who attempt them"

NOTE: we finally have that magic word, "harmful", but notice how qualified the statement is and that the possible harm is purely "psychological"; this is what these Freudian talk-therapy types have been saying about all sexual morality for the last century and modern psychology has dismissed Freud who is now considered to have over-emphasized the whole role of sexuality is the human emotional make-up

There you have it. Five organizations. Only one says there is any reason at all to suspect psychological "harm" and they're a bunch of Freudian kooks who think all the world's problems would be solved if only all the sexual repression would cease. Problem is, the history of our society since the 70s would suggest otherwise. The breakdown of community standards has produced all kinds of unhealthy probelms.

The CRC ladies got you, Jim.

June 29, 2006 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Frank said...

Nothing harmful about reparative therapy?

"In 2002, researchers Ariel Shidlo and Michael Schroeder recruited 182 men and 20 women for a study on the negative effects of reparative therapy. They found that 176 subjects said reparative therapy was harmful, while 26 said it was successful."
Jon Ward, Washington Times
http://www.washingtontimes.com/metro/20050926-095613-8795r.htm

"...The studies cited above allege that a typical success rate for conversion therapies is about 30%. Surprisingly, those researchers never question what might have happened to the other 70%. The only comment that conversion therapists offer is that sexual orientation is difficult to change.21 All conversion therapy rests solidly on the assumption that homosexuality is in conflict with a fulfilling life, balancing out any risks from treatment in the eyes of those therapists. It is important to ask if these treatments might result in negative consequences, however.

This author’s fifteen years of clinical experience with gay men who have gone through some form of conversion therapy suggests a wide variability in the way people are affected. All of the following comments are based upon the author’s own clinical observations and numerous anecdotal reports which await confirmation in controlled studies.

Some—but not all—conversion therapy clients are harmed. In particular, those who have undergone treatments such as electric shock or drugs inducing vomiting while homoerotic material is presented are likely to have been harmed the most. Many such individuals seen in my practice are not only tormented by an exacerbated level of shame but are physically rendered “asexual”—not changed into heterosexuals, but no longer functioning as homosexuals either.

In recent years, however, refugees from such cruel therapies have become less common
in this author’s practice as these treatments have fallen into disfavor. At present, the majority of former conversion therapy clients, or “ex-ex-gays”, as they are sometimes known, have gone through a religious, prayer-based program or a talk-oriented therapy of some sort. Such individuals often experience continued depression over their homosexuality, compounded with a sense of shame over having failed at conversion therapy. Further, they may have a
psychologically debilitating sense of having lost those important life elements—family
of origin, religious affiliation, social support— for which there was still some hope as long as the individual was trying to change. Some former conversion therapy clients report extraordinary difficulties with interpersonal interactions, and particularly sexual intimacy, with same-sex partners.

The author’s own clinical practice and the views of other practitioners working with former conversion therapy clients suggest that the problems associated with conversion therapy are not limited to the client. The goal of conversion treatments is to involve other individuals in the client’s romantic and sexual life. For the ex-spouses and children of conversion therapy “experiment relationships,” the sense of betrayal and loss can be devastating. Very often individuals and family members who have been caught in the conversion therapy process
need counseling of their own."

http://www.iglss.org/media/files/Angles_41.pdf
or
http://tinyurl.com/g2l6s for HTML

Frank

June 29, 2006 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just unjustly sick. Here you have Anon just trying to inflating his ego by attempting to win this debate. Of course that's all that matters isn't it? Trying to further this stupid agenda by winning these petty debates. How about the families of victims who commited suicide after entering reparative therapy? No empathy nor sympathy; it's just about winning a political debate and furthering an agenda. It doesn't matter that peoples' lives are being destroyed.

June 29, 2006 7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read all this and I don't know why you guys even let this asshole post here. What an idiot. I'd kick his shit out of here if I was you.

June 29, 2006 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank You sold me I was a little dough full about this conversion therapy but now that you laid out the facts I am all for it and you all should give it a try if you want to rid your self of your same sex attractions. To bad they got rid of the clockwork orange approach (JimK comes to mind.) it seemed to do the most good. If the goal is conversion than I don’t know what the definition of straight is if it is not some former conversion therapy clients report extraordinary difficulties with interpersonal interactions, and particularly sexual intimacy, with same-sex partners.

June 29, 2006 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Matthew 7:1 said...

I understand your distress Anon, and I agree that this is unjustly sick. But as painful as it may be to face the fact that there are Americans who hold such heinous views, I would like to thank TTF for allowing an open conversation on these topics. It is important that everyone see the hatred that compels some to use their faith to deny full civil rights for LGBT Americans.

Everyone note how the nasty Anon has assumed Frank is gay and attacked him for it. It seems that Anon missed an important Bible lesson.

June 30, 2006 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

California Pro-Gay
Education Bill Stalls
Assembly delays vote on legislation after thousands of Golden Staters speak out against the teaching of "gay-positive" propaganda in public schools.

California lawmakers postponed a vote today on a dangerous bill which could force the state's public schools to parrot gay propaganda when it comes to discussions about homosexuality -- and outcry from family advocates appears to be the reason for the delay.

Members of the California Assembly were scheduled to vote this morning on SB 1437, which would prohibit schools in the Golden State from "reflecting adversely" on homosexuality, transsexuality and bisexuality.

June 30, 2006 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for the record, the anon who was disputing Jim's post yesterday did not make any comment after 6:25 last night.

June 30, 2006 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Anon, that Focus on the Family is sure a reliable news source, isn't it?

June 30, 2006 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why, do you see any inaccuracies in the report?

they're certainly more reliable than the Washington Post

June 30, 2006 9:44 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

I can't believe I'm going back to this.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association, both groups cited by recent CRC statements, policy say: health and mental health professional organizations do not support efforts to change young people's sexual orientation through "reparative therapy" and have raised serious concerns about its potential to do harm.

The American Psychiatric Association, also cited by CRC in a presentation to the school board, has a policy that says: Until there is such research available, APA recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals' sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to first, do no harm. The APA policy quoted in this post also notes that the reparative therapy literature neglects potential risks to patients.

Let me put this in perspective. There are lots of reasons not to attempt this hoax called reparative therapy. It is scientifically unfounded, it has shown no measurable positive results, it perpetuates stereotypes and bigotry, and it makes people feel bad about who they are. "Harm" in a psychotherapy setting is often, obviously, psychological, either a person is set back in their progress or they emerge from the treatment more confused, deluded, and despondent than when they entered it. We have some people here who can tell you how bad that is, but that's only one problem with this stuff.

These professional groups oppose reparative therapy for a number of good reasons. Some mention the harm it does, and all oppose it for other reasons, as well. Generally these professional groups are trying to get their members to behave professionally, and they oppose reparative therapy on theoretical, empirical, and ethical grounds.

They know it does harm, they assume it; the fact that they don't make that their central point certainly should not be taken to imply that they approve of it.

JimK

June 30, 2006 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too would like to thank TTF for providing a place for this dialog and letting this Anonymous person show just how stsupid the whole antigay fascist movement is.

June 30, 2006 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.catholicsforthecommongood.org/n071.htm

June 30, 2006 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I can't believe I'm going back to this."

I can't believe either because yesterday you promised:

"I'll go through this one more time."

You've again shown that none of these organizations have any proof or evidence of harm caused by reparative therapy- and they don't claim any. The CRC ladies you derided were right.

As for the effectiveness of the therapy, there is little evidence that Freudian talk-therapy is effective and the same possibilities could be raised. Often difficult subjects and anxiety and guilt are raised by these type of therapists. Patients under the care of psychiatrists have been known to commit suicide, for example. It's not because of the treatment- it's becuase of the issue that caused the individual to seek treatment in the first place. No one is trying to claim that any other psychiatric treatments are unethical.

June 30, 2006 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.lambdaletters.org/lgbt.html

June 30, 2006 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are having such a bad week, I'm going to throw you a bone. Check out today's Wall Street Journal, page B1, Science Journal column for a new study that indicates that homosexuality in men may result from biological factors.

It's a double-edged sword, however. Remember, if it's biologically caused, the possibility is raised that it could be cured.

June 30, 2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger digger said...

The CRC ladies got you, Jim.

As a teacher, it never ceases to amaze me that people can read the same text and get opposite meanings from it.

For example, some people read Romans 1:27-28 and see this as a call to indict gay people. I read Romans 1:27-28 and 2:1-4 and see this as a call not to indict gay people.

Go figure.

rrjr

June 30, 2006 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, Jim's one of those guys who believes what he wants to believe

June 30, 2006 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

digger said, Go figure.


Well digger most on this list who experience Wyatt (who by the way should know all about figures in his profession) are not that much amazed about how much he cannot figure out what is real and what is fantasy that plays in his mind. They experience his nuttiness on other lists he is on in all his hateful glory.


Jeff

June 30, 2006 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Oops said...

Anon said "modern psychology has dismissed Freud...they're a bunch of Freudian kooks"

I couldn't have said that any better myself.

The whole basis of conversion therapy is the strictly Freudian notion that homosexuality is caused by a domineering mother and an absent father. Your heroes, Bieber, Nicolosi, Socarides (the last two founded NARTH) are "a bunch of Freudian kooks."

June 30, 2006 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I couldn't have said that any better myself.

The whole basis of conversion therapy is the strictly Freudian notion that homosexuality is caused by a domineering mother and an absent father. Your heroes, Bieber, Nicolosi, Socarides (the last two founded NARTH) are "a bunch of Freudian kooks.""

You may be right but the point is no one is trying to declare other Freudians unethical. This whole thing is another political tactic by the rainbow agenda.

Aren't familiar with my referenced heroes so...

June 30, 2006 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As a teacher, it never ceases to amaze me that people can read the same text and get opposite meanings from it."

Robert,

Can you find one of those associations that say that there IS harm caused by reparative therapies? Again, I only saw the one psychiatric association say there is reason to believe there MAY be harm. Again, this is a crowd that generally takes a dim view of the whole idea of sexual morality as repressive and thinks guilt is never appropriate. None of the other associations (medical & psychological) even said there MAY be harm.

As a teacher, I hope you teach the kids to consider the point of view of authors they read. Still, the language here is not tricky. These associations aren't attesting to any damage caused by reparative therapy.

June 30, 2006 3:43 PM  
Anonymous PasserBy said...

Anon, do you think any of these groups approve of their members doing this kind of therapy or are you just quibbling over the concept of damage?

PB

June 30, 2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon, do you think any of these groups approve of their members doing this kind of therapy or are you just quibbling over the concept of damage?"

I think the quibbling was started by this post by TTF. The CRC made a factual point at the school board meeting. Sorry if it doesn't support your point of view, but this is "Teach the Facts", is it not?

June 30, 2006 4:00 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Three of the four groups the ladies of the CRC mentioned explicitly refer to risk or harm in reparative therapy. But that's hardly the point.

The point is, all of these groups oppose that kind of therapy, for a multitude of reasons. They don't just doubt it or question it or worry about it -- they all have explicit organizational policy statements against it.

I won't let these ladies pretend that the AMA, AAP, or either APA supports their position in the slightest. As I said, it's a game of whack-a-mole, and we're here, hammer in hand, just ready for the next time they stick their head up.

JimK

June 30, 2006 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I won't let these ladies pretend that the AMA, AAP, or either APA supports their position in the slightest."

If the CRCers said that, you didn't include it in your post. All the ladies said is that the associations mentioned haven't made the statements that TTF says they have.

"As I said, it's a game of whack-a-mole, and we're here, hammer in hand, just ready for the next time they stick their head up."

Hitting people is harmful. All the associations agree.

June 30, 2006 4:37 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

...If the CRCers said that, ...

Anon, you're arguing with yourself. I didn't say they said it.

JimK

June 30, 2006 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I see. You were reading their mind. That's how you knew they were pretending.

June 30, 2006 4:47 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, you became tedious long ago.

JimK

June 30, 2006 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 30, 2006 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Oops said...

Anon spends a day or two denying mainstream professional medical and mental health organizations oppose conversion therapy and claiming it causes no harm. In so doing, Anon takes a swipe at "these Freudian talk-therapy types" and tells us that "modern psychology has dismissed Freud."

Today Anon claims to not know that Bieber, Nicolosi and Socarides are leaders in the conversion therapy movement which is based on Freudian theories of psychosexual development. Adherents of this therapy are "a bunch of Freudian kooks."

Anon operates on a fact deficit, just like the CRC ladies.

Oops

June 30, 2006 4:59 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

In a letter posted in the Gazette's on-line forum last Wednesday, Michelle Turner agrees with my statement that both the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics "state that homosexuality is not a mental disorder," but then accuses me of "spinning" the facts when I wrote that that those organizations oppose as harmful "efforts to change one's sexual orientation." She is simply wrong, but people can see for themselves by reading the statements from the AMA and AAP websites.

The AMA statement speaks for itself. It "opposes the use of 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy that is based on the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation." (AMA Policy Number H-160.991; see
www.ama-assn.org ama pub category 14754.html). The Hippocratic Oath states, "First, do no harm." Why would the AMA oppose such therapies? There could be only two reasons: They don't work and/or they "do harm." I would challenge Michelle (and Retta) to explain what other rationale there could be for the plain statement.

Similarly, the American Academy of Pediatrics in its policy statement on Homosexuality and Adolescence states: "Confusion about sexual orientation is not unusual during adolescence. Counseling may be helpful for young people who
are uncertain about their sexual orientation or for those who are uncertain about how to express their sexuality and might profit from an attempt at clarification through a counseling or psychotherapeutic initiative. Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is CONTRAINDICATED, since it
can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving
changes in orientation." (Policy Statement: Homosexuality and Adolescence, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1993 (emphasis added) This statement may be found at
_http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/search?FLAGS=policy_statement%2Cclinical_report%2Ctechnical_report%2Cpractice_guidelines%2Cparent_pages%2Ce
ndorsed_policy_statement%2Cendorsed_clinical_report%2Cendorsed_technical_repor
t%2Cendorsed_practice_guidelines&datetype=rangedates&titleabstract=Homosexuali
ty+and+Adolescence&fulltext=&imageField.x=66&imageField.y=12_
(http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/search?FLAGS=policy_statement,clinical_report,techni
cal_report,practice_guidelines,parent_pages,endorsed_policy_statement,endorsed
_clinical_report,endorsed_technical_report,endorsed_practice_guidelines&datety
pe=rangedates&titleabstract=Homosexuality+and+Adolescence&fulltext=&imageField
.x=66&imageField.y=12)

What parts of these words do Michelle and Retta not understand?

Moreover, it is noteworthy that the AAP specifically recommends that, "[w]ith regard to parents of nonheterosexual adolescents, pediatricians are encouraged to [among other things] be supportive of parents of adolescents who have
discovered that they are not heterosexual. Most states have chapters of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) to which interested families may be referred." (See
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/113/6/1827?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=homo
sexuality&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT)
. The AAP does not recommend referring families to PFOX or other "conversion therapy" groups.

But don't take my word for it. Just read the AMA and AAP statements.

June 30, 2006 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 30, 2006 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 30, 2006 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jim K and bye bye to anon (or at least one of them)

Gracie

June 30, 2006 5:55 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

This should make David's links a little easier to navigate:

AAP's policy on "Homosexuality and Adolescence" is HERE

The AAP article "Sexuality and Adolescence" is HERE

The AMA's policies are HERE
Scroll down to H-160.991 for the discussion of reparative therapy.

JimK

June 30, 2006 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David is quoting the
Policy Statement: Homosexuality and Adolescence, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1993
not the newer one that is JK’s link

PEDIATRICS Vol. 113 No. 6 June 2004, pp. 1827-1832
Clinical Report
Sexual Orientation and Adolescents
“The American Academy of Pediatrics issued its first statement on homosexuality and adolescents in 1983, with a revision in 1993. This report reflects the growing understanding of youth of differing sexual orientations. Young people are recognizing their sexual orientation earlier than in the past, making this a topic of importance to pediatricians.”

June 30, 2006 9:30 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

I linked to both, as did David.

JimK

June 30, 2006 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

July 01, 2006 9:34 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Jim,

Thank you for finding and posting the easier links.

July 02, 2006 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad TTF can't find any association saying that reparative therapy is harmful.

Of course, it may produce "guilt and anxiety" - kind of like when the dentists tells you your gum disease derives from negligence in flossing.

When you think of it, though, how could they make a generalization about reparative therapy? There's all types and maybe some that haven't been thought of yet. You might be able to say certain types of reparative therapy are harmful. But to say reparative therapy is harmful, in general, is kind of like saying trying to cure cancer is harmful. This is all so illogical that TTF should try to stifle all discussion of this post so they won't seem foolish.

July 03, 2006 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said, "so they won't seem foolish."


"So anon won't seem foolish" is the correct phrase.

Jeff

July 03, 2006 12:00 PM  

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