Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Would Spitzer Support PFOX?

I'd like to lay something on the table here for discussion. PFOX -- Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays -- have prettied up their web site. Now when you load it, there is a video of psychiatrist Robert Spitzer talking.

Spitzer, you might remember, is the author of the one and only piece of peer-reviewed literature suggesting that gay people might become straight through therapy. His research is widely criticized, but he got it through the review system and into the Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2003.

On the video he says:
The DSM stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it's a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, and it's kind of the Bible of psychiatry. I came up with a definition in 1973 that made it possible to argue that homosexuality was not a mental disorder. I mean, the gay activists have taken the viewpoint that from a political/strategic point of view they do better if they can convince society at large that once you're homosexual you can never change. Now, I can appreciate that that helps them politically, and I'm sympathetic towards their political goals, but I think it's just not true.

I've been told that this video came from Warren Throckmorton's video, "I Do Exist," but you can see that interview HERE, on YouTube. It's a different jacket, different background. I haven't seen the whole movie, but it doesn't appear that PFOX's video comes from there. Did he tape this just for them?

I admit I am surprised that Spitzer has decided to throw his weight behind PFOX, of all groups. It may be that when all the research is in, some small proportion of gay people are actually shown, beyond Spitzer's more-or-less andecdotal evidence, to have changed their sexual orientation. I don't know, and in itself it's not really such an important question. There are two-headed snakes, but that doesn't say anything about ordinary snakes; there may or may not be people who have become straight, but if there are there aren't very many, and it does not, as PFOX alleges, imply that all or most gay people could change if they wanted.

The question is not whether sexual orientation is immutable, the question is why someone of Spitzer's status as a researcher would become involved with a lowbrow group of religious anti-gay agitators. If there is an academic question regarding the dimensionality and/or fluidity of sexual orientation, it is definitely not best investigated by a partisan, shrill group like PFOX, whose mission in life is to complain that "ex-gays" are discriminated against.

Let me point out the obvious: nobody would bother to discriminate against a person who "used to be gay." People might be skeptical, oh well, price you pay -- it is a little unusual, you might say. Most of us would probably not want our daughters to marry a guy who used to be gay, but that's hardly discrimination. I would prefer that my daughter not marry a guy without a job, either, or a guy with no education.

PFOX does not exist to illuminate the facts of a controversy, it exists to advocate an alternative to homosexuality that doesn't exist for most people. PFOX exists to promote a fiction -- a cruel hoax -- that causes a lot of pain by giving unfounded hope to people who need facts and support.

Spitzer has said that he was "disturbed" that his study results were being "misused by those who are against antidiscrimination laws and civil unions for gays and lesbians." But PFOX's Executive Director actively opposes gay marriage. And here he is, appearing on their web site.

Why would somebody like Spitzer support such a group?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe he's sick of people like you trying to twist the facts (TTF).

February 13, 2007 5:52 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

C'mon, Anon, you disappoint. I float a plump change-up right over the plate, and that's the best you can do? Sheesh. What a rookie.

C'mon, Smart Guy, it's a pinata! Hit it! Take another swing at it.

JimK

February 13, 2007 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, the sun got in my eyes.

February 13, 2007 6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on baby, let's do the twist
Come on baby, let's do the twist
Take me by my little hand and go like this
Ee-oh twist baby baby twist
Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist

My daddy is sleepin' and mama ain't around
Yeah, daddy is sleepin' and mama ain't around
We're gonna twisty twisty twisty
'Til we turn the house down
Come on and twist yeah baby twist
Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist

Yeah you should see my little Sis
You should see my my little Sis
She really knows how to rock
She knows how to twist
Come on and twist yeah baby twist
Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist
Yeah rock on now
Yeah twist on now
Twist

February 13, 2007 7:49 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Did anyone ask him? He has a web address at Columbia University- and a phone number. Does he know he is the poster boy for a group like PFOX?

February 13, 2007 7:55 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

You want to contact him, Andrea? Show him this blog post, see what he says. He must have given them permission to use his movie, maybe he'll tell you why.

JimK

February 13, 2007 7:58 PM  
Blogger andrear said...

Will do !

February 15, 2007 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Phentermine said...

Nice design of blog.

August 13, 2007 3:23 PM  

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